Senators Berthel and Kelly Announce Safety Improvements to Route 8 in Seymour

September 26, 2018

State Senators Eric Berthel (R-32) and Kevin Kelly (R-21) announced proposed safety improvements to a dangerous section of Route 8 in Seymour. The changes are a result of the legislators’ request for a Department of Transportation traffic study of the high-incident section of the highway.

“The section of Route 8 near Exit 22 contains a sharp, horizontal curve that has seen a growing number of accidents as traffic increased,” Sen. Berthelsaid. “My colleagues and I asked the DOT to study conditions and traffic patterns in the area to find ways to make it safer for drivers.”

In a letter from the DOT, Commissioner James Redeker writes that staff performed pavement surface testing in both directions of the highway. Tests found the section of the roadway provides sufficient friction to help vehicles slow down and stop.

“I am glad that the DOT looked beyond the surface condition of the roadway for opportunities to make the area safer,” Sen. Kelly said. “We know that a number of factors can contribute to vehicle accidents, including weather, speed, and visibility. Providing a more advanced warning of the approaching curve and including the DOT’s proposed retroreflective delineators on the media barriers could go a long way to addressing divers’ ability to see and respond to the roadway.”

The letter noted that the speed limit on Route 8 is 55mph and the curved portions of the road specifically are marked 50mph. However, monitoring of the area found a large number of vehicles exceed 70mph.

The senator acknowledged that increasing State Police presence in the area, as suggested by the DOT, should prompt drivers to slow down in the area. They also applauded the proactive measures the DOT is suggesting to help make the highway safer for drivers and passengers.

The letter stated that DOT would continue working with Seymour’s Local Traffic Authority and Seymour Police Chief Michael Metzler to improve safety in the area.

Senator Berthel represents the communities of Bethlehem, Bridgewater, Middlebury, Oxford, Roxbury, Seymour, Southbury, Washington, Watertown and Woodbury.

Senator Kelly represents the communities of Monroe, Seymour, Shelton, and Stratford.