New York State D.O.T. works with neighbors to make Route 481 intersections safer

Neighbors along Route 481 in Oswego see the accidents all too often. Cars try to merge onto the four lane highway from an intersection but they aren't ready for the oncoming traffic approaching at sixty miles an hour or faster.

"Because of the limited sight distance, you come out on that and somebody's right on your tail," said Hank Fylstra, who lives right near the intersection of Route 481 and Churchill Rd.

On Tuesday afternoon, Fylstra and other neighbors had a chance to meet with engineers and state D.O.T. staff about planned improvements to the Rt. 481 intersections with County Route 45 and Churchill Road. The D.O.T. showed proposals to widen Route 481, install turn lanes or even close part of Churchill Rd where it meets 481. The D.O.T. Staff wanted input from neighbors and people who go through the intersections every day.

"We know about the engineering, the sight distance, the degree of curvature needed but the local knowledge really, really helps," said Gene Cilento from the New York State D.O.T. "And the local knowledge, in this case, will help select which alternate gets selected."

For two hours, neighbors who wanted to be part of the solution came to the Volney Town Hall. William Davey had several suggestions for the D.O.T. Engineers about the intersection of Churchill Road and Route 481. Davey said he's glad the State is doing something about an intersection that has been the scene of so many crashes.

"The fact that they're asking for our input is a great thing. Obviously, I think it's a pretty dangerous intersection and we've seen and heard numerous accidents over the years," said Davey.

The D.O.T. showed neighbors four preliminary designs for how to improve the intersections. Neighbors have time to look over the options and send in additional comments to D.O.T. staff. The construction is currently scheduled to begin in summer 2014.