New intersection planned for Main Street

MANCHESTER - The intersection of Cemetery Ave. and Main Street will be getting a makeover for the next month or so, according to Chris Cole of Cole Construction Management.

Currently, the project is awaiting utility transfer from Green Mountain Power. The original telephone pole is still running power, but once it is transferred to the new pole, out of the intersection, the other utilities will follow suit. Then, after Comcast and Fair Point have rerouted their utilities, Cole Construction Management are free to remove the old pole for the new.

"It should take about four to five weeks to relocate," said Cole. "We will need two weeks after that to take care of the poles." In addition to moving the poles, Cole explained that there are a few other adjustments to make, both temporary and permanent.

"We will need to relocate the mailbox," said Cole. "It will move south down the street, to just outside the cemetery... This is only temporary until we can permanently put it on the library site."

There will also be a new crosswalk painted and a few curb cuts. Library Executive Director Betsy Bleakie explained that these two changes, and the project as a whole, will help make the area safer.

"It will make everything clearer," she said. "By adding a crosswalk we're impacting pedestrian access to the library. It will be a great place for kids to walk to the library from MEMS when they get out of school... it will make everything generally safer."

Planning Administrator Lee Krohn said that the other reason for the change was to assist drivers in safely getting to the library, without affecting pedestrians and while easing the flow of traffic.

"This is certainly an appropriate time to revisit the intersection," said Lee. "It has generally worked for traffic [currently], but there was concern that with the library, traffic will increase."

He explained that the shape of the intersection currently, a Y-shape, may not be best suited for a higher-traffic are that the library may bring, but that the new design, a T-shape that ends directly at Main Street, will be safer, and less confusing.

The realignment project will be funded by the library's budget, but not from the budget for the building itself.

"It is separate from the building budget," explained Cole, "but it is a part of the master budget. The sewers and reconfiguration were required by the town." Cole said that after the poles have been moved their next step is to patch the road where they had been working. However, once the library's new parking lot is ready to be paved, the rest of Cemetery Avenue will be repaved as well.


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