A congested intersection at the base of Union Street is likely to get a multi-million dollar makeover in a few years.
The city recently approved a $350,000 redesign of the jagged junction of South, Church and Union streets.
“It’s really a quagmire there, especially at rush hour,” Mayor Art Ward said Tuesday.
The project should get underway in about three years, Public Works Director Walter Veselka said.
Veselka said the federal government will pay 80 percent of the cost of the work, with the state and the city each picking up 10 percent of the total tab.
The proposed work is part of a long-term effort to fix troubled intersections across town, including the ongoing reconstruction of the south end of Union Street.
Other projects that are already finished include remaking the junction of Brook and Mix streets with Farmington Avenue and redoing the intersection of Stafford Avenue and Washington Street.
Ward said the problems at the South, Church and Union streets intersection remind him of the tie-ups on Farmington Avenue where Stafford Avenue crosses it.
“People get hung up at that intersection” just like the one at the end of Union Street, the mayor said.
The city set aside $200,000 for the design work last year. Board of Finance commissioners recently agreed to chip in another $155,000 to pay the rest of the tab.
Once the project is done, Ward said, traffic ought to “flow more freely” on South and Union Streets.
The worst time of day now, Ward said, is about 4:45 or 5 p.m. when commuters get backed up across the intersection and wind up blocking Union and Church streets, too.
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