Construction on Shelburne Street roundabout underway
BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Work has begun on a road project aimed at reducing crashes at a busy Burlington intersection.
“If I hadn’t looked at the last second, I wouldn’t have seen him and he would have hit me right in the side,” recalled Gary Eley, one of several neighbors that shared harrowing stories of the Shelburne Street Rotary.
“I see a lot of people make a lot of mistakes, like going the wrong direction, and people fly through here,” said Kiley Wick of Burlington.
The approval to turn the rotary into a full-fledged roundabout came in 2019, but it took until this week for the work to begin.
Michael Lacroix, the project manager from VTrans, says this was a long time coming. “Generally, most people have been looking forward to this project. They know this is a safety issue, they know this has been a problem for a long long time and are looking for a fix,” he said.
That fix, however, won’t happen overnight. Construction is happening during days and into the evening, affecting the neighbors who have also been affected by the original safety concerns. Wick says she’s happy about the project, but the construction will be an adjustment in her day-to-day life. “We were up, hearing it last night. It was really loud,” she said. “And again early this morning -- it was really loud... They actually came by and warned us a few weeks ago that it would be starting but I don’t think we could have been anticipating how loud it was going to be.”
Others, like Sidney Eley, think it’s fun to watch the progress. “I don’t mind the construction at all. In fact, I find it interesting to watch, it’s fascinating. In fact, we came down just to see what was going on.” Eley said.
Tuesday’s work involved removing the trees to expand the roadway. “It’s always sad to see a really nice -- this was a chestnut tree -- cut down, and those are pretty rare,” Eley said.
The project is set to be done in the summer of 2023 and neighbors say they’re looking forward to having a safe way to get across the street and around the area.
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