GRAFTON, Mass. — A traffic makeover around Grafton Common could mean moving several war monuments, closing a portion of North Street and adding traffic signals, the Board of Selectmen were told Tuesday night.
The suggested changes were among several options developed by Graves Engineering for the historic area's traffic issues. Graves has been working with the Grafton Common Historic District to find ways to improve modern day traffic through the area while still maintaining the Common's charm.
"We tried not to touch the Common itself," said Jeff Walsh of Graves Engineering.
The biggest traffic issue comes in the morning and evening when traffic on Route 140 can become snarled as commuters weave their way around the Common. Traffic often backs up on Upton Street as cars hesitate at the turn onto Worcester Street. The intersection of Millbury Street with Worcester Street in front of One Grafton Common is frought with problems, and the street between the Grafton Inn and the Civil War Monument has problems with traffic merging onto North Street.
The favored option would make several changes, including:
• Installing synchronized traffic lights at Upton Street/Worcester Street and Worcester Street/Millbury Street;
• Narrowing Millbury Street in front of the Grafton Country Store to straighten the transition onto North Street;
• Eliminating the street between the Grafton Inn and the Civil War Monument and replacing it with green space; and
• Moving the new World War II monument and the nearby Korea/Vietnam monument.
"I would not want to jump up and move a monument, especially these monuments," Selectman John Carlson said. If the monuments need to be moved, however, he suggested Grafton Common could provide a new home.
Construction costs would be about $1.13 million, Walsh said.
No plan has been approved and any changes must pass muster with the Grafton Common Historic District Commission, selectmen and other boards before going forward.
"Quite frankly, this is a project not everyone is going to be pleased with, no matter how we slice it," Walsh said. "But there are a lot of options."