Construction resumes for Adams traffic roundabout


Photo Gallery | Traffic Roundabout in Adams

Video | Construction inside the roundabout in Adams has begun. Trucks navigating circle more easily

ADAMS — With winter presumably in the rearview mirror, construction of a roundabout at Friend Street and Route 8 has resumed.

Though construction only restarted this week, the shape of the roundabout has already been outlined with concrete barriers, and the traffic pattern has begun to follow the circular route.

The entire project, seen as a public safety initiative, is expected to be complete in June, according to a spokesman for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, which is overseeing and funding the project. A new beacon warning assembly will be installed by mid-May; paving work and landscaping will be done by the end of May, and the project will be substantially completed by the end of June, the spokesman said.

The $1.44 million construction contract is about 43 percent complete, according to the transportation department. Though the new construction began last year, the project has been in the works since as early as 2009.

Initially expected to be complete last year, the roundabout project was halted when construction crews discovered a damaged culvert beneath the road they were digging up. Given the instability of the culvert, it had to be replaced first, setting the roundabout construction back for weeks and pushing it into 2016.

Before winter set in, the road was repaved and has operated as normal until construction began again this week. In total, the roundabout includes traffic feeds from Columbia (Route 8), Friend and Renfrew streets.

So far, drivers are getting accustomed to navigating a traffic circle, which is the only one in the Berkshires, according to Adams Police Chief Richard Tarsa.

"The first day the barriers went up, within an hour and a half we had four reports of trailer trucks getting hung up on or hitting the barriers. The state had to come out and address it and set things up a little bit differently," Tarsa said.

Since the adjustments, traffic has been running more smoothly, but Tarsa said every fourth or fifth vehicle has appeared a bit hesitant to enter.

"Basically it's a totally new concept for this area and people just have to adjust to it," he said.

Contact Adam Shanks at 413-496-6376


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