Walmart, roundabout projects near completion; expect delays during 'no trucks' detour


BENNINGTON — A new Walmart and an accompanying roundabout on Northside Drive are both on track to be completed next month.

The new Walmart store is slated to open on Aug. 24, a spokesperson for the company confirmed on Tuesday.

Drivers are being told to expect delays while a "no trucks" detour is in effect during the roundabout's fifth and final phase of construction. Truck traffic will be routed around Northside Drive (State Route 7A) for two weeks starting on Wednesday, July 27.

Northbound trucks will be directed from North Street to Route 7, Route 279 (the Bennington Bypass), and Route 67A.

Southbound trucks from Routes 67A and 7A will be directed to the Bennington Bypass and Route 7.

Traffic control flaggers and additional temporary singage will be used during the final construction phase, according to the spokesperson.

Crews broke ground on the new, 112,000-square-foot Walmart last fall. It was built behind the existing 51,000-square-foot building, a former Woolworth's the company has occupied since 1995, which will be demolished. The developer behind the project is BLS Bennington, the entity that owns the Northside Plaza. The Florida-based developer is also managing the construction of the new roundabout on Northside Drive.

It took eight years from the time the controversial project garnered local permits before construction began.

The new store will include a pharmacy, a vision center and garden center, according to construction plans completed by Cross Consulting Engineers, of St. Albans.

The project at the four-way intersection of Northside Drive, Emma Street and the plaza entrance involves replacing the existing traffic lights and protected turning lanes with a single-lane roundabout.

The traffic lights were removed early on and replaced with four stop signs. As of Tuesday, crews had completed new curbs and sidewalks on four quadrants of the intersection and applied a base coat of pavement.

The final construction phase includes building the roundabout's central island, a truck apron around the center island that will be used by large commercial vehicles, and "splitter islands" that will guide traffic around the central island.

Crews will install raised crosswalks and permanent traffic signs. The final phase also calls for installation of lighting and painting road markings.

Signage and solar-powered flashing beacons, which will flash when pedestrians push a button, will be placed at a crosswalk at the plaza entrance.

Contact Ed Damon at 802-447-7567, ext. 111.


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