DARTMOUTH - It's well known just how much the traffic backs up near the Dartmouth Mall. The intersection of State Road and Hathaway Road in particular, is the epicenter of traffic issues surrounding the shopping complex, as it's caused safety risks and has frustrated drivers for years.

The Dartmouth Select Board announced its plans with MassDOT to improve to the busy roadway during a meeting at Town Hall on Monday night.

The Board discussed multiple issues between safety and traffic capacity at the crossroads. Town Administrator David Cressman says backups at State and Hathaway have reached such a height that it has an effect on the regional economy.

“It has to be addressed. It's a regional matter and it's not just a local issue,” Cressman said. “It gets into economic issues because it's a major way to reach the regional commercial shopping center, which is the Dartmouth Mall. Also because it's a major way for people to reach UMASS Dartmouth.”

Cressman says that MassDOT came to an agreement with the Town after it recognized the regional economic benefits of improving the intersection. He also says that plans to start the project are backed up as far as 2021, and include relocating the Metro Pizza Plaza. The Board says they will be seeking financial help from the state as the Town of Dartmouth would have to fund the relocation of Metro Pizza.

“They're (MassDOT) going to try to assist us in handling this as a regional issue, and therefore compensating the Town if the Town moves ahead on the project, as the Town will have to acquire project to relocate the Metro Pizza Plaza,” Cressman explained.

Town Selectman Shawn MacDonald says he uses the intersection multiple times throughout the day and is “thrilled” that something will be done to fix the traffic issue. The only problem MacDonald has is the amount of time it will take for physical construction to begin.

“At times it is very difficult to get thru that intersection. You have people going across the highway to the business and from the businesses going up Hathaway Road,” said MacDonald. “That is an intersection I go through at least four times a day and I'm just thrilled that it's going to be addressed, I just wish it would be addressed a lot quicker than what will happen.”