MANCHESTER -- The finishing touches on the new roundabout are moving forward at a steady pace, and are actually going faster than initially planned, according to the town’s Public In formation Officer Tricia Hayes.
"It was originally a three-year project," said Hayes. "It was not due to be done until November, 2013."
Hayes says that the final "punch list" items are likely to be completed by, if not before, a planned street-fest celebration on June 21. The "punch list" contains some minimal, aesthetic things to finish. There are five benches and some more trees to still be installed on the sidewalk. Also, Hayes said that there will be some perennial plants, such as Day Lillies and other native species of plants, to be planted in the rotary itself. "It is going to be very green," Hayes said.
On the safety side, there is some more striping to be done. The current painted lines have begun to fade, so there are plans to repaint them in addition to the adjacent parking spaces. There will also be a yellow border painted around the circle itself, as well as around the smaller rotary farther north. Signage will be one of the final touches of the rotary and will include sidewalk indicators to ensure that pedestrians will be crossing at safe locations, and that vehicles will be aware of the pedestrians.
Hayes said that she believes that the rotary will be more than equipped to handle the increased summer and fall traffic to the area.
"We had a dry run already, because we finished by Thanksgiving," she said. "It worked well on Black Friday... it worked like a breeze, and that is our biggest test all year."
She also said that this rotary is helping the town to reach one of the goals of the community visit, and of the towns in general - to get more people downtown at night.
"We are adding additional enticements," she said.
While it is still too early to determine for certain, Hayes believes that it looks as though they will fall close to, if not under, the approximately $4.7 million budget for the roundabout construction. It will not be until they are completely finished that they will know how close they came, she said.
The street-fest celebration will take place on June 21, closing off Main St. from Thai Basil to Mountain Goat from 6 to 9 p.m. The festivities will include a stage with performers, kids’ activities, food and a dunk tank.