GREENFIELD — The city’s newest roundabout at Apple Street and New Road will open today, ending a five-month hassle – at least for now.
The roundabout will not be complete, but it will be drivable. Construction crews will return in a few months to add the finishing touches.
“We will have to come back in the spring and put on the last inch-and-a-half of surface asphalt,” said Marc Hollingsworth, project manager.
Hollingsworth works for USI Consultants and oversees the project. It is being constructed by E&B Paving, and the city of Greenfield is paying for the work.
Hollingsworth said crews were hoping to get the intersection complete before the end of 2012, but weather problems delayed work at times. Still, he said, the contract specified the job must be done by June of this year.
“Most likely, it’ll be the middle of March or April, depending on when the weather will finally break,” he said of when crews will return. “The contractor’s going to remove all of their equipment and barricades and basically put in the signs (Wednesday and Thursday) so they have correct signage for traffic to be on it (Thursday) through the springtime.”
Hollingsworth said when the construction crew returns in the spring, there will be more partial closures and people directing traffic. Crews will also add the decorative brick-like stamping to the center of the island, as well as landscaping.
But until then, all four legs of the intersection – including Apple Street, which has been closed for months – will be open. It also means the awkward traffic pattern since November will end. Because of the terrain and the location of nearby homes, the roundabout was temporarily open on one side for two-way traffic while work continued on the other side.
That’s good news for Carrie Taylor. A resident of the Hickory Hills subdivision on the north side of the intersection, Taylor said navigating it has sometimes been difficult for her large family.
“It’s no so bad,” she said. “The workers are really courteous… and they go out of their way to make sure that we can get in and out.”
Still, she said, the closure of Apple Street has been a hassle. She’s involved with the Mothers of Preschoolers program at Park Chapel Christian Church, and to get there, she has had to drive several extra blocks. Likewise, to visit family on Apple Street, Taylor has to take other routes to avoid the street closure.
While the other roundabouts in Greenfield each only took two months to complete, this roundabout took longer because the intersection could never be fully closed. Apple Street is the only road leading out of the Hickory Hills subdivision, so residents would have been blocked if the intersection had closed entirely.
Scott Brown lives on the northwest corner of the intersection, and he said while construction has been a nuisance, he’s looking forward to the finished product. The Browns have two driveways, and he agreed to have one driveway blocked during construction.
“I just told them to do what they need to do; just make sure I have a clear line of sight so I can safely exit and enter my property,” he said.
Brown hopes traffic will flow safely through the roundabout, especially because cars coming from the east may be prone to speeding.
Overall, Brown said, motorists have navigated the intersection well, especially during the last two months when motorists had to drive both ways on the southern stretch of the circle.
“In some ways, it’s a testament to how we all work together because that roundabout is very tricky right now. We’re all squeezed in to what’s going to be one lane,” he said. “There’s been some horn-honking, but… for the most part, the community has dealt with the situation and the workers have dealt with the situation. It’s been a pain, but we’ve made the best of it.”