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Drivers must find another way around roundabout

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Rolling along: Crews work on the roundabout construction at Franklin Street and New Road on Tuesday. (Tom Russo/Daily Reporter)
Rolling along: Crews work on the roundabout construction at Franklin Street and New Road on Tuesday. (Tom Russo/Daily Reporter)

GREENFIELD — Thousands of motorists will have to find a new way to travel around Greenfield’s north side when the intersection of Franklin Street and New Road closes entirely Thursday.

The closure is for a one-month stretch to complete construction. The roundabout, which will be the fifth in the city, should be completed within 30 days of the intersection closure. Meanwhile, construction of another roundabout at Apple Street and New Road continues, and city officials remind motorists to be aware of detours.

Mike Fruth and Karla Vincent, city engineer and assistant engineer, said they have not heard complaints from the public about construction happening simultaneously at the two roundabouts.

“I think it’s two separate groups of travelers,” said Vincent. “If you travel one, you don’t travel the other.”

Still, Fruth acknowledges that a complete closure of Franklin Street and New Road can be frustrating for motorists. There are about 9,000 who drive through the intersection every day.

The official detour to avoid the closed intersection uses CR 300N, Ind. 9, U.S. 40 and Meridian Road. Vincent said signs have already been placed on CR 300N for motorists who take Fortville Pike into Greenfield, and drivers should simply avoid the intersection altogether for the next month.

The roundabout has taken shape since construction began in early September. The intersection remained open through the weekend to be a part of the official detour of the Riley Festival. Fruth says per the city’s contract with E&B Paving, the project must be complete 30 days after the road is closed.

“I have a lot of confidence the contractor will be able to complete it,” Fruth said.

Meanwhile, E&B Paving is also building a roundabout at Apple Street and New Road.

That intersection, however, can never be entirely closed because it is the only exit for residents of the Hickory Hills subdivision.

New Road from Apple Street east to about Blue Road is currently closed, but that will soon change. Starting Monday, New Road will reopen but Apple Street will close from New Road south about 300 yards.

Mark Hollingsworth, project manager for engineering company USI Consultants, said detour signs will be set up and people should take McKenzie Road to get to the homes in the area.

Most of the construction of that roundabout should be complete by the end of the construction season this year, Fruth said. There may be some loose ends to tie up, but Fruth said motorists should be able to drive through a completed roundabout by the end of the year.

“As long as we can have favorable weather, we should be able to complete everything in time,” Hollingsworth added.

Once both roundabouts are complete, there will be six in the city and no immediate plans for more. City officials targeted the intersections in a thoroughfare plan based on high traffic counts or as way to improve an otherwise awkward road design.

The first roundabout in Greenfield was built at McKenzie Road and Broadway Street in 2004. Two roundabouts were completed in 2010 at McKenzie Road and Apple Street and McKenzie Road and Franklin Street. In 2011, a fourth roundabout was completed at McKenzie and Meridian roads.

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