CAPE VINCENT — Village businesses have coped with a detour from roadwork on Route 12E near Millens Bay that some say initially steered motorists away from the village. But additional signs have since helped direct travelers back to the village and alleviate some confusion.
The state Department of Transportation’s detour, which took affect in mid-September so workers could replace a culvert, circumvents the village by directing traffic on Route 12E through county routes 8 and 4 until reaching back to Route 12E, which DOT regional spokesman Michael R. Flick said was done to keep tractor trailer traffic away from town roads.
Ever since the detour took effect, the Cape Vincent Chamber of Commerce and DOT have worked to better direct travelers back to the village so it could still welcome visitors and shoppers.
There originally were no signs directing travelers facing Route 12E from County Route 4 to the village, said chamber executive director Shelley F. Higgins, Michael J. Chavoustie and Amanda A. Derouchie, co-owners of Cup of Joy Cafe.
The signage on Route 12E greeting motorists travelling from Chaumont previously didn’t clarify that roadwork was taking place between Cape Vincent and Clayton.
Multiple signs from the state and chamber between Three Mile Bay and the village now direct motorists from Route 12E and County Route 4 to the village, ensuring they know that roadwork has not barred access to it.
One DOT sign reads “boat launch five miles,” and the chamber’s white, wooden sign facing County Route 4 points travellers to Horne’s Ferry in the village.
“(DOT officials) were very receptive in putting up additional signs,” said Mr. Chavoustie, also a family owner of French Towne Market. “The chamber was reactive and did the right thing.”
While the state’s detour directs motorists along county roads, Mrs. Higgins said she encourages motorists travelling from Clayton to the village to turn right on Mason Road from County Route 8, turn right on Gosier Road and then turn left back on to Route 12E.
Maps highlighting the shorter, “local route” were on display at the chamber office.
Workers have removed the old culvert on the stretch of Route 12E near Millens Bay, but must still backfill the deep hole and install the new culvert.
Mr. Flick said the work should be completed in December.
“We are appreciative of them waiting until after Labor Day,” to remove the culvert, Mrs. Higgins said.