MANCHESTER -- The intersection of Main and Depot streets -- the site of construction work currently underway for the roundabout rotary -- will be closed for nearly a two-week period after Labor Day to expedite work on the project.
The Manchester Select Board voted unanimously at a special meeting Monday to close the intersection from 6 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 4, to 8 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 8. The intersection will be reopened for a two-hour period, until 10 a.m. that morning, to permit the running of the Maple Leaf Half Marathon, whose route runs through the intersection.
2-week closure after Labor Day
However, the short term reopening is only for the purposes of accommodating runners and participants in the road race. At 10 a.m., the intersection will be closed again until 6 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 18.
It is possible the intersection could be open sooner if work on the intersection is finished earlier than Sept. 18, officials associated with work on the roundabout said at the board meeting. Construction crews will be working around the clock to cut through the existing roadway to put in place the new road bed for the roundabout, said Kevin Ture, the project manager for Schultz Construction, the lead contractor.
By closing the intersection completely for the two-week period, work on the intersection will proceed much more rapidly and much time will be saved on completing the project, he said.
A marble arch that supports the roadway on the Main Street section of the present intersection, which was put in place almost exactly 100 years ago, has been revealed to have significant stress fractures, and the safest way of replacing the existing roadway with the new intersection was to shut it down completely, engineers working on the project concluded.
Traffic will be diverted around the intersection by allowing two-way traffic on Cottage Street and Wymans Lane. Center Hill and Union Street in Manchester Village will also be used to divert traffic, and in particular truck traffic, while the work is being done on the intersection.