GCASA, Albion officials should consider Route 31 for entrance to new community residence

Posted 6 August 2022 at 9:43 am


I am a lifelong resident of Albion who graduated from high school in 2007. I have lived on Butts Road for about five years, near where GCASA wants to build a 25-bed women and children’s recovery center.

We had no knowledge of this center being proposed to be built other than a brief announcement in the Orleans Hub in 2021. That was very short and brief and easy to miss. The town also recently posted a public hearing sign at the property on June 1.

I attended the public hearing on August 3rd on this issue. My fiancé and I were the only ones of the public in attendance.  We brought up a concern about the proposed addition of the entrance  on Butts Road would cause an already high traffic flow to increase due to the constant traffic coming and going from Saint Gobain’s near the corner of Butts Road and Route 31. This entrance sees traffic 24 hours a day/7 days a week with employees and semi trucks delivering supplies or waste management trucks coming and going.

Then there is also Orleans Community Health located on the opposite side of the road from this entrance that also sees a high number of traffic during their operating hours. Our concern is the GCASA site and its entrance will result in a higher risk of a serious accidents due to the blind hill with the railroad underpass. A higher risk of vehicles not knowing there is a 7 foot, 2 inch clearance to go under the underpass.

There’s also the threat of accidents with speeding. It’s a 40 MPH speed zone and many people treat it like a drag strip. We have seen at least 3 to 6 incidents of vehicles hitting the bridge per year, either damaging the bridge or causing damage to vehicles. Recently an Amazon prime delivery truck hit the bridge and tore the top of the truck right off.

This doesn’t include the multiple vehicles as in cars/trucks/semi trucks not seeing the underpass or the misunderstanding the signs and they try to take a chance to go under the underpass. When this happens vehicles have to either turn around in our driveway or they back all the way back down to Saint Gobain.

We have witnessed so many near-misses in the last 5 years were worried the added traffic flow would raise the risk of a serious accident that could lead to be fatal. We asked if there could be any considerations in the possibility of relocating the entrance to Route 31. We asked the Town Planning Board, the director of GCASA and also to the code enforcer that was present at the Aug. 3 meeting.

We were told by said officials that they would “recommend” vendors bringing supplies not to come south on Butts Road and risk any incidents around the underpass. A recommendation isn’t going to stop an accident.

I have 4 children – ages 3, 11, 14 and 16 – all either in school or starting school in September. We were also told that the other 6 acres of land that was purchased by GCASA had not gone thru the historical and archeology impact study that if said study was done could be used to consider relocating the entrance to route 31 that would alleviate the traffic and simply solve a simple concern.

I simply want the time taken to take this into consideration to be looked into for my family’s safety. The director of GCASA said he’s not considering relocating the entrance or does not want to take the time to and my emails to the town planning board have gone unanswered.

I am in 100% support of this center being built, it is needed and it is what’s best to fight addiction.

I just want my simple concern be addressed and looked into possibly relocating the purposed entrance of this center off of Butts Road to Route 31.

Aaron Vosburgh