Roundabout rolling along

MANCHESTER- With the smaller "button" roundabout largely completed last week, finishing the main roundabout will take on renewed focus. Last Friday, the last pieces of the arch bridge were completed, marking yet another milestone in the project.

"Work on the roundabout will be taking place 24 hours a day, seven days a week to get this project completed as quickly as possible," said Tricia Hayes, the projects public information officer.

With the final stages of the main roundabout getting underway traffic detour signs will remain in place to keep larger vehicles like trucks, buses, and RV's out of the construction area.

The construction of the roundabout will start by building the center of the roundabout in half-circles. The first half of the curbing will be put into place on the Hand Motors side of the project. When that is completed the second half will be constructed and the roundabout will be in use, all in just a couple of weeks, said Hayes.

At the end of the month more than 40 LED energy efficient, historically inspired streetlights will be installed down Main Street and in front of the town green on Depot Street along with marble benches that will be added to another smaller town green, or "pocket park," that is also part of the project. The green area will be installed on the Hand Motors side of the roundabout. The greenery will be planted sometime during the Spring of next year, depending on the weather, Hayes said.

Paving of Main Street will also be completed. A second coat is needed to make the street more level and to reduce the size of the curbing along the road. There is some concern that paving might not get completed due to the cold weather, as the plants might shut down for the winter, said Hayes.

"It's a matter of weather. We have to make sure that the plants are still open in order to put that asphalt down," said Hayes. "We were not even sure we would get this far on the project this early so it's a good sign."

With only a couple of weeks left until the roundabout is functional citizens of Manchester, recent posts on the Manchester Journal's Facebook page have provided a window into local feelings about the project.

Paul Wheeler, a local Manchester resident, posted, "I do not think the button works particularly well -- but will reserve judgment until later. I am open to the larger circle, but I am unconvinced that there is any value in the button. I believe it provides more hesitation and congestion at that location. The larger one I am sure will be relatively effective."

Wheeler is referencing some of the unpleasant traffic back-ups at the new button roundabout as of late which has caused some stir in the local community. As construction continues on the main roundabout people seem to be getting a little antsy about the situation.

"Just another reason to avoid that half of town," posted Brain Sheldon, another local resident.

Some remain optimistic that the "function junction" project will do it's job and create better traffic flow in that part of town.

Suzanne McMillen, a Dorset resident, believes that only time can tell how the project goes posting,

"The big trucks in [New York] can handle them...give it time and practice."


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