Opening Jones Road in Milford could take awhile

MILFORD – Many drivers, especially drivers coming from the Wilton area, like the prospect of re-opening Jones Road, and in March voters will be asked if they want selectmen to begin the process.

The idea is to allow eastbound traffic on Elm Street (Route 101A) to make a right turn into the area of the Market Basket supermarket.

That would be convenient for those headed not only to the supermarket, but also to the bank and medical building and to the Whitten and Savage roads area.

It would mean drivers could avoid two several turns and two traffic lights at intersections that are congested during peak travel times.

But don’t expect it to happen soon.

If voters say yes the town will have to negotiate with the railroad company, because the road goes over the tracks.

And as selectmen’s Chairman Gary Daniels told the budget committee last week, no one knows if Boston & Maine is willing to negotiate.

“We are looking at the possibility of reducing congestion,” Daniels said, and making “traffic a little easier for people to get where they’re going.

But “there’s a lot to this … all we want to do is get the ball rolling.”

The road was closed by a Town Meeting vote in 1996, after the Green Bridge at Jones Crossing was closed to traffic.

Milford’s Traffic Safety Committee recently brought up the issue of opening the road, and selectmen put it on the town warrant for this year.

The Budget Committee’s Peg Seward suggested that the town negotiate and come back for a town vote next year.

Daniels said it’s a chicken or the egg situation. “I’d hate to see the board spend a lot of time negotiating,” and than have residents vote no, he said. “It’s not going to be easy negotiations.

Budget Committee Chairman Matt Lydon told Daniels that the committee wants to make sure there is some public process if the town votes yes.

Kathy Cleveland can be reached at 673-3100, or kcleveland@cabinet.com.