Roundabout taking shape at downtown edge of Amherst

  • Work crews continue to build new roundabout in Amherst. —Scott Merzbach

  • Aerial photo of roundabout construction. —Submitted photo

Staff Writer
Thursday, August 10, 2017

AMHERST — Fresh pavement has been put down and new curbs are being installed as the roundabout at the northern end of downtown continues to take shape.

Crews from Warner Brothers LLC, of Sunderland, and Caracas Construction Corp., of Ludlow, are at the intersection of East Pleasant and Triangle streets daily. The focus this week is on building the truck apron that is part of the roundabout’s center island, an aspect that will allow larger vehicles to traverse the roads.

Town Manager Paul Bockelman said the contractors have been able to get a lot done in a short amount of time. “We’re hoping they’ll finish by the end of August,” Bockelman said.

That goal for completion is due to the return of thousands of college students for the fall semester at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst College and Hampshire College.

Town engineer Jason Skeels, who is overseeing the project, said closing the intersection to traffic for extended periods has allowed work to progress faster. Traffic is moving through parts of the intersection during off hours this week after the intersection was shut down around the clock in late July.

In addition, Skeels noted that the pavement was put down over all structures in the road. The structures, including manholes, will later be located and the pavement will be cut away so the structures can be raised up.

During work hours, vehicles are detoured onto North Pleasant and Pray streets, though businesses in the vicinity of the intersection, including Bertucci’s restaurant, and sidewalks, remain open.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.