CHESTERFIELD — The Burlington County Engineering Office is planning a makeover for the intersection of Old York and Bordentown-Chesterfield roads, the site of last year’s deadly school bus accident.
The four-way intersection is now controlled by a flashing amber light on Bordentown-Chesterfield Road (also known as County Route 528) and stop signs on Old York Road. County officials said planning is under way to transform it into a large “roundabout” intended to slow traffic on both roads through the intersection.
Planning on the modification is still in the “conceptual phase,” but the county has already secured $1.3 million in funding from the New Jersey Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration needed for the project’s design and construction, county spokeswoman Charlene Webster said.
“It’s going to be completely funded with money from the state and federal government,” Webster said, adding that the work is intended to improve safety by slowing traffic.
Seventeen accidents have occurred at the intersection since 2007, including last year’s bus crash on Feb. 16 as well as a minor accident the very next day. No similar roundabouts have been built in the county, but Webster said there are others like it in the state. Planning on the project preceded the bus accident, but the county made some safety improvements shortly after the incident.
Those improvements included moving some trees along the two roads to increase the line of sight as well as installing larger stop signs and additional signs warning motorists of the blinking signal ahead.
The traffic lines were also repainted, Webster said.
Chesterfield Township Councilman Michael Hlubik said local officials and residents appreciated the upgrades.
“We haven’t had a lot of problems at that intersection when you look at the traffic records, but the county decided to do the modification,” Hlubik said. “Anything you can to do make an intersection safer, I think we’d support.”
There is no timetable for when the design phase of the project will conclude or when work is likely to begin, Webster said.
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