Road work to alter school drop-off 

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The reconstruction of Highland Avenue in Beacon Falls will mean the traffic island in front of Laurel Ledge Elementary School, pictured above, will have to be removed. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI
The reconstruction of Highland Avenue in Beacon Falls will mean the traffic island in front of Laurel Ledge Elementary School, pictured above, will have to be removed. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

BEACON FALLS — The reconstruction of Highland Avenue will also mean a slight facelift for the newly-renovated Laurel Ledge Elementary School.

The town is planning a complete overhaul of Highland Avenue, which is off of Burton Road and runs in front of Laurel Ledge. The work includes moving telephone poles, which are currently in the street, behind the sidewalk in front of homes and moving the sidewalks out. A 10-foot parking lane will be added on the side of the street across from the school and the road will have two 14-foot wide travel lanes.

As things stand now, the traffic island in front of Laurel Ledge that separates the road from a student drop-off area would be in the middle of one of the proposed travel lanes, and needs to be removed.

Removing the island was a safety concern for school officials, who don’t want students getting dropped off in front of the school without a barrier separating them from the road. Officials from Region 16, which oversees schools in Beacon Falls and Prospect, and the town met to discuss the matter. A plan is in place to address the issue.

Town Engineer Jim Galligan presented the proposal to the Board of Education last week.

Galligan said the plan is to move the parking spaces and sidewalk in front of Laurel Ledge about 5 feet or so closer to the school. A new barrier will be built to separate the drop-off area from the street. Exactly what kind of barrier will be built hasn’t been determined, yet, he said.

Doing this will mean that some paving work that was recently finished as part of the renovation project at Laurel Ledge will have to be torn up. The plans for the road work weren’t ready before the project at the school was completed, Galligan said.

A large Maple tree in front of the school will also have to be removed, he added.

Galligan said the cost of any work done on school property will be covered by the town.

The reconstruction of Highland Avenue is expected to be done in three phases, Galligan said. The road work in front of the school is planned for next summer, he said.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Wait a minute. Isn’t the first selectman a self proclaimed decorated naval officer who successfully commanded a military base, and the second selectman a paving contractor!!
    What happened,let’s blame the third selectman, he won’t be back.

  2. I asked some of the same questions. Apparently the town administration never bothered to bring the school system into the conversation regarding what does repaving mean. Probably because the Town itself had no idea what repaving would involve – hence the unplanned discussions with Highland Ave property owners regarding the placement of telephone poles and now the front of the school. So, if true, the school project went along without any knowledge that the sidewalks, median, and the maple tree would be affected. Good communication and transparency has never been a best practice at town hall.

  3. Correct me if I’m wrong but the reconstruction of Highland Ave has been a project for a long time. The work being done at laurel ledge has been going on for more than two years. How do you pave the parking lot at the school and then rip it up for the reconstruction of highland Ave? And the TOWN will pick up the mistake!!

    Who’s in charge??