You are hereFUNCTION-JUNCTION: Roundabout Project
FUNCTION-JUNCTION: Roundabout Project
The FUNCTION-JUNCTION project, the downtown improvement project that includes the reconstruction of the intersection of Main Street (historic Route 7A) and Depot Street (Route 11/30) and the intersection of Main Street (historic Route 7A) and Bonnet Street (Route 30) is moving into the construction phase.
Please direct questions or comments about FUNCTION-JUNCTION to Public Information Officer Tricia Hayes at firstname.lastname@example.org or (802) 362-0207 or Municipal Project Manager Lee Krohn at email@example.com or (802) 362-1313, option 3. To receive the weekly eblast with an update of the construction schedule. email firstname.lastname@example.org.
See a simulation of the project; look at an overview of the project and a proposed timeline for construction; and read more about the engineering, all located as downloads at the bottom of this page.
FUNCTION-JUNCTION has numerous benefits, including:
More efficient, safer vehicle and pedestrian traffic flow in the downtown core;
Removal and backlotting of overhead utility lines in front of Factory Point Town Green, in the junction area and at the intersection of Bonnet Street (Route 30) and Main Street (historic Route 7A); and,
Reconstruction of sidewalks, curbing, landscaping, lighting, benches and other related infrastructure within the scope of the project and up to and including the former Quality Restaurant on Main Street.
FUNCTION-JUNCTION Project History: The intersection, official known as Center Bridge but arguably better known as "Malfunction Junction," has long been considered a "choke point."
In the development boom of the late 1980s and early 1990s, this failing intersection was often a primary reason for denying development proposals because traffic studies indicated an "F" level of service. I became obvious that eventually something needed to be done. Traffic lights had been tried and removed, and police officers directing traffic only made things worse.
It was self-defeating to keep denying commercial development in the core, where it’s intended to be. Doing so just increases pressure to expand at the edges of Town, known among Planners as sprawl. This is not to suggest that anything goes in the core but rather that if the Town wants downtown to be the commercial core, then it should take reasonable steps to accommodate reasonable types and scale of commercial development in the downtown core.
New intensive studies began in the early 1990s, funded via grants through the Bennington County Regional Commission (BCRC). A phase 1 study looked at many traffic-related issues. The intersection was noted by the state Agency of Transportation (AOT) as the first or second worst intersection in the entire state, and was put on track for further study and improvement. The Town also began looking not just at transportation or traffic in a vacuum, but in relation to patterns of land use and development, and also for people (and pedestrians), not just motor vehicles.
The Town's Transportation Initiative Committee (TIC) was very active in these days, and realized wisely the Town could not solve traffic on its own without a broader context or framework. Thus, an intensive effort to create what became a vision statement for our community began. This also led to an entirely new approach to the Town Plan, which has served the Town well even to this day.
Enter phase 2, a more focused scoping study of the intersection, its challenges and opportunities. Many formal and informal community discussions and meetings were held, five ‘official’ alternatives were proposed by the engineers, and two additional alternatives by citizens - the so called Morrow alternative and Drunsic alternative. Much further discussion ensued.
Somewhere in here, the High Ridge and Grand Union expansion projects were proposed, and again, traffic became the largest stumbling block. Grand Union proposed a traffic light (the Town said no thanks) and then they proposed a third turning lane (and again, the Town said no thanks). The Town proposed, based on community studies, the construction of a roundabout. It was TIC member Doug Shaw’s genius to suggest one here as a test to see how it would look, feel, and function, in a location where it could be removed if necessary.
Despite getting used to something new, it worked beautifully and gave the Town the confidence to pursue a roundabout at the Junction. The community voted on several occasions to pursue that approach.
The Selectboard voted to pursue this as a locally managed project (Local Transportation Facilities or LTF) so the Town would have more control over the process and product.
TIC spent much time on design details – essential for our community – so this wouldn’t just be a highway project. Lights, sidewalks and curbing, crosswalks, bridge abutments... all will be far better and nicer for that major effort than they would have been otherwise.
Through TIC's efforts, this project has evolved from a traditional highway project/intersection improvement project to a full fledged downtown improvement project: not just for cars, but for people – brand new sidewalks and curbing around the intersection and right up Main Street, more visible and textured crosswalks, bridge abutments that include traditional design details instead of being just plain concrete walls. And then the Town worked to integrate other needed infrastructure improvements – replacing water and sewer lines in the streets that we’d need to do anyway, but now it will cost us less by integrating it into the road work, and we tear things up only once. Then by including the relocation of overhead utilities, we further improve the look and feel of our downtown for residents and visitors alike.
Thanks to TIC’s sustained efforts, the project is vastly improved, and again, has become not just rebuilding an intersection into a downtown improvement project, with significant reinvestment in the look, feel, and function of the heart of a historic downtown.
|ROUNDABOUT INVITATION FOR BIDS (MARCH 16, 2012)||61.14 KB|
|ROUNDABOUT NOTICE OF PUBLIC BID||87.41 KB|
|Project Plan-1||205.36 KB|
|Project Plan-2||1.04 MB|
|Roundabout Study||1.33 MB|
|Roundabout Simulation-1||180.38 KB|
|Roundabout Simulation-2||186.77 KB|
|Roundabout Presentation (Krohn) dated August 17, 2010||3.3 MB|