Discussions with state continue over intersection where teen was killed

Feb 16, 2024

MIDDLEBORO — Discussions with the state continue over potential safety improvements to the section of Route 28 where a teenager was killed last year, Town Manager James McGrail told the Select Board at their Feb. 12 meeting.

Middleboro High School freshman Dylan Levesque, 15, was fatally struck by a vehicle May 14, 2023 as he was crossing the road at Route 28 near the exit from Hannaford supermarket.

His death prompted immediate calls for the state to upgrade conditions at the stretch of road, including the potential installation of a traffic light.

Nearly 10,000 people signed a petition seeking the placement of traffic lights at the area, a concept also publicly supported by the teen’s family.

“A fully functional traffic light seems like a simple solution,’’ McGrail has said.

The state has since hired an engineer to study the section of road to explore potential improvements, McGrail said.

Town residents have expressed concern about cars speeding in the area and the challenges of exiting the Hannaford plaza onto Route 28. The rear exits of Goode and Burkland schools lead to the same stretch of road, adding to potential traffic challenges.

Some upgrades have already been made, McGrail said, including the addition of a rapid flashing beacon to remind people to slow down, repainted crosswalks and new signage.

The engineer is exploring other options, including making construction changes to the roadway, McGrail said.

One option the state has mentioned is the addition of a roundabout, which is similar to a rotary. McGrail stressed that the town opposes this idea.

“The town has significant concerns,’’ he said. “We’d be pushing back.’’

The intersection has long been a concern for town officials, McGrail has said.

Since the fatal accident, the state has ramped up a timetable for work at the site, McGrail said. “We’re very happy with the way it’s happening,’’ McGrail, although he noted it took a “sad reason’’ for the issue to be seriously addressed.

Public input will be sought before any solution is made official, McGrail said.