MANCHESTER - The new roundabouts passed Black Friday and with the cold weather rolling in and the holiday decorations now in place the intersection is getting ready for winter.

"From all reports things went quite well, traffic was moving. Previous Black Friday traffic would get backed up and I think we did have good crowds in town so that it was a true test," said Tricia Hayes, the projects public information officer.

The only problem that Hayes was made aware of was that crosswalks were not clearly marked and pedestrians were not aware of where they were located.

"Next spring the crosswalks will be more clearly defined," said Hayes "We just need to educate pedestrians that they are not going to be safe unless they do use the crosswalks, but luckily nobody got hurt.

Shoppers and visitors converged on Manchester over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, fillling up the streets and sidewalks.
Shoppers and visitors converged on Manchester over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, fillling up the streets and sidewalks. (Andrew McKeever Photo)
We now have ways that people can cross the roads safely and we just need them to obey the rules of the road."

With paving completed, just in time the cold touch of winter, there are still some small punch-list items to be completed before they officially end construction until the spring.

Temporary striping for the intersection began on Wednesday. When the spring rolls around permanent striping will replace the temporary ones.

Two more street lights and some more benches might also go in before the project shuts down, but they may have to wait until the spring to install them.

"Next spring we look at doing those crosswalks as I mentioned, doing the landscaping and that will be the trees along main street and the planting of the big roundabout," said Hayes.

Along with the final improvements of the roundabout, the roundabout will be dedicated on Memorial Day as Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Circle at the request of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6471 here in Manchester.

The dedication was agreed upon on the Nov. 20 Selectboard meeting as Bill Weeks and Jim Johnson, both veterans who served in Vietnam, proposed the idea and the name.

"We want to thank the Selectboard for taking the time to hear our proposal and accepting to dedicate the bridge as the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Circle," said Weeks during the meeting.

The intersection is then scheduled to have its grand opening on June 21, 2013.

"There will be a big street party where we will close main street and have music and food vendors and entertainers," said Hayes.

The intersection could hardly have been completed any faster than it was. According to Hayes, the project had an original completion date sometime in 2014. When night constriction was approved the completion date changed to November 15, 2013. When the project implemented its accelerated schedule the estimated completion date moved to the first day of summer, June 20, 2013.

Workers scrambled to finish the paving work on the roundabout before the Thanksgiving holiday and cold weather made the road work impossible.
Workers scrambled to finish the paving work on the roundabout before the Thanksgiving holiday and cold weather made the road work impossible. (Andrew McKeever photo)