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Pierrepont town officials hoping DOT will look at dangerous intersection

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PIERREPONT - Pierrepont town officials have taken the first step in trying to make a dangerous town intersection more safe by reaching out to the state for help.

The town board passed a resolution Tuesday night, agreeing to contact the New York State Department of Transportation regarding the intersection at State Highway 56 and County Route 24.

“This would be a resolution to send in the state DOT asking for a caution light on (Highway) 56 traffic and a blinking red light for (Route) 24 traffic,” Town Supervisor Thomas E. Latimer said.

According to the resolution, the intersection is one of the busiest in the municipality and has been the scene of numerous accidents and close calls in the past.

“The town board of the town of Pierrepont is cognizant of numerous fatal accidents, fender-benders and near-misses that have occurred at such intersection,” the document read. “County Route 24 intersects with state Highway 56 on the westerly side, at the top of a sharp hill, and ... state Highway 56, on the southerly side of County Route 24, dips into a valley, creating limited site distance.”

The perceived hazardous location has been discussed at numerous town board meetings this year.

The town board has requested that the DOT do a “full investigation of the intersection.”

DOT Region 6 Public Information Officer Michael R. Flick said that this type of process typically takes a couple of months.

“(The resolution) will come to us and it goes into the system. We get a steady amount of letters from groups, municipalities etc. for light and speed requests like this,” Mr. Flick said. “We have a number of intersections to investigate and what not.”

He said decisions regarding light requests are usually much quicker than ones that have to do with speed limits.

After the investigation, if the intersection warrants a signal, the DOT will likely have their own crew install the devices.

“We look at the history and nature/severity of the accidents at that intersection. That plays a part in what decision will be made. After that, if there are warrants for a signal, we would contact the author of the resolution,” Mr. Flick said. “So there are more than a few ways to remedy this and we will take it from there.”

Given that the intersection is of a town highway and county route, the DOT may be talking with the St. Lawrence County Highway Department about the issue.

“We will probably have some coordination and communication with (the county.) This will likely be a cleaner resolution than one with speed limit issues,” Mr. Flick said.

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