MOUNT DESERT — The turn lane project in Somesville is starting this week with the clearing of trees and brush from the right-of-way.
Once the turn lane is completed this spring, fewer drivers traveling north on Route 102 who wish to turn right onto Route 198 (Sound Drive) will have to wait in a long line of traffic for the light to turn green. That is a common problem, especially on weekday afternoons in the summer, when traffic is sometimes backed up more than a mile.
The turn lane will be about 200 feet long with a two-foot shoulder and a rebuilt sidewalk. The flagpole and flower bed installed a few years ago by the Somesville Village Improvement Society at the southeast corner of the intersection will not have to be moved.
The project will include installation of a pedestrian traffic signal. Pedestrians wishing to cross Route 102 can push a button, and a digital display will tell them how many seconds they have to cross. In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, there also will be an audible signal for the visually impaired.
Sargent Corporation is the general contractor for the intersection project.