by Andrew Martin
More work is scheduled to take place at the roundabout in Hyde Park in the coming week. During the week of November 16, the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) will be undertaking work to the inner area of the roundabout circle known as the concrete truck apron, which large vehicles can use to better navigate the traffic circle on Route 15 in Hyde Park by driving up onto. The work that is being performed will raise the truck apron up several inches, making it harder for small vehicles to drive over that portion of the roundabout.
“Since we have opened the roundabout we have had issues with the drivers of regular cars using the truck apron rather than staying on the main traveled lane at the outside of the circle, which is where they are supposed to be,” explained Dave Hosking of VTrans, “It is causing potential accidents, and we are going to try to fix the situation by raising the lip of the truck apron.”
Hosking went on to explain that the plan is for the lip of the truck apron to be raised by approximately two inches. By raising it that much VTrans expects to limit the ability of small vehicles like cars to drive over the apron while still allowing the vehicles that need to use the apron, like tractor trailers, the capability to drive over it and thereby navigate the roundabout.
“The raised lip will slow down smaller vehicles and keep them on the paved surface meant for everyday travel,” explained Hosking.
The contractors tasked with raising the lip will actually be doing so in a manner not common to Vermont. The lip will be lifted by drilling pilot holes down into the truck apron. Expanding foam will then be pumped into those holes, slowly lifting the entire apron up the required two inches. According to Hosking the work to the apron will be done in quadrants in order to keep the majority of the roundabout open. All work will also be done at night in order to cause as little disruption to traffic patterns as possible.
“We will be starting work on Monday, November 12, and the project will likely take three to four nights,” commented Hosking.
He went on to state that the contractors are scheduled to work between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. each night, although the exact time has not yet been determined. While the construction crew is working on a particular quadrant of the roundabout that section will be closed to traffic. This will mean that flaggers will be halting traffic at all entrances to the roundabout and that only one lane of traffic will be allowed through at a time. Enhanced police patrol will also be used to ensure a safe project.
While the majority of the project should be completed by Friday, November 16, the contractor performing the job may have to return once or twice the following week.
“We will definitely be done the project by Thanksgiving,” explained Hosking, “We are trying to work as quickly as possible in order to present the least amount of inconvenience to the traveling public.
The raising of the lip and truck apron is one of the last projects VTrans has scheduled for the Hyde Park roundabout. Once that work is done the final step will be repainting the traffic lines in the roundabout. That work will be taking place later this fall or next spring, depending on the weather. VTrans had planned to repaint the lines earlier in 2012 but decided to put a hold on that project until all other work on the circle was completed.