MIDDLEFIELD, Conn. (WTNH) -- A construction project in Middlefield could have a big impact on the local economy and the upcoming Durham Fair.
"We don't really feel it's going to be a big concern," said Trooper Peter DiGioia, CT State Police.
With the Durham Fair and harvest season at Lyman Orchards about to turn the bucolic back road into a major access artery, there's a lot riding on the prediction about the replacement project of the Route 147 bridge over the Coginchaug River in Middlefield.
"We have traffic down to alternating one-way, controlled by traffic signal, and traffic seems to be normal traffic, flowing fine," said Jim Ruitto, CT Department of Transportation.
However, come fair time in particular, it's feared a simple traffic light could spell doom.
"Currently, it's going to be one way in. So, as you're heading toward Durham you'll still be able to utilize 147," said Trooper DiGioia. "Anybody coming out of Durham into Middlefield is going to be diverted on to Cherry Hill Road and then down Miller, and we'll have troopers at all those areas."
With a reversal of procedure as the tide of patrons begins moving out, end of day. The strategy was a main focus at a special Chamber of Commerce meeting at the Durham Fairgrounds Thursday morning.
"Collectively, we've kind of worked out the best plan we can. I think the one-way traffic pattern that DOT mentioned this morning is probably going to be the best alternative, given the circumstances as they are," said Daniel Miramant, Durham Fair President.
The plan seems simple enough: have a couple of state troopers altering the flow of traffic based on the influx or exodus of patrons, but it's the flexibility to change on the fly that most has the biggest stakeholders confident.
"Our business is a little different from the fair's business, so the fact that they're willing to adjust and sit with us throughout the process, I think is key right now," said Steve Ciskowski, Lyman Orchards CEO.
At least, this year's result will offer some predictive value for fair and harvest season next year, as the bridge project won't finish until spring 2015.
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