FALL RIVER – Hang tight, all you drivers heading north on William S. Canning Boulevard en route to SouthCoast Marketplace.
It won’t be long before your final approach to the popular shopping center in the city’s far South End becomes easier and safer.
Preliminary work is now underway to construct a slip ramp, also known in the parlance of road construction as either a slip lane or slip road.
“It will alleviate congestion and improve access to SouthCoast Marketplace,” said Paul Ferland, who oversees Fall River’s sewer and water divisions in his role as the city’s community utilities administrator.
Ferland says the new ramp, or lane, will sit parallel to the shopping center’s main entrance-and-exit road and will run adjacent to the Santander Bank branch.
The new road will be functional before the arrival of Thanksgiving on Nov. 26, he said.
Ferland said northbound and southbound drivers exiting nearby Route 24 will appreciate the road addition, as will people driving in from Tiverton and down the Canning Boulevard/Route 81 hill from the Stafford Road rotary.
The new entrance road will eliminate the need for northbound traffic to swerve into the right-hand lane to enter the shopping center — which in turn should create a more orderly and safer two-lane path for drivers heading past SouthCoast Marketplace.
“I know a lot of people will be happy when this is done,” said John Perry, director of the city’s Department of Community Maintenance.
Ferland said the state’s Department of Transportation has approved plans and designs for two new, large traffic signal lights to be installed at the intersection in front of SouthCoast Marketplace.
He says synchronization of the lights will be fine-tuned to create a more orderly flow of traffic from various turn lanes.
Another road improvement soon to be undertaken will be