Waterbury, Vt. Moves Forward with Roundabout Plan

Published 02/18 2014 11:12PM

Updated 02/18 2014 11:32PM

WATERBURY, Vt. - Plans are underway to change how you drive into Waterbury, Vermont.

Leaders there studied a new entrance for more than a decade. The idea now going forward would land Waterbury on a short list of Vermont communities with a roundabout.

It would be built at the intersection of Route 100 and Route 2 near I-89. Estimates are about 12,000 cars will pass through it once the State Office Complex reopens.
Even now it's a busy intersection, especially during the morning and afternoon commutes.

"Standard traffic. It definitely gets backed up especially on the holidays," says Scott Morrow.
"On a snowy day like this I would consider taking Route 2 to head out of town," says Ashley Truax.

"Just so you can avoid this intersection?" asked FOX44/ABC22's Matt Austin.

"Just to avoid this intersection, yeah," says Truax.

On Tuesday, Waterbury leaders presented a plan to improve the intersection: a $3-million roundabout, mostly paid for by the federal government.
"It's a good idea. I have lived in cities before. Once you learn how to use them, they work well," says Morrow.
Public Works says the roundabout is the best option to improve traffic and make it safer for drivers, bikers, and people walking here.
While drivers we talked to say the roundabout could actually improve traffic, some of the nearby businesses had concerns.
Some were concerned about losing parking spots. Others were skeptical big trucks could get through.

"I think it's going to be tough. It's going to be challenging," says Sonja Garon, owner of BGB Salon.
Garon also worries customers will have a harder time driving here during construction.
"We're brainstorming ideas how to promote our business and keep things going," says Garon.

Public Works staff say the project has all the permits required. It just needs a right of way approval by the state and to negotiate deals with nearby landowners.
If all goes according to plan, bids should go in May and construction should be complete this year.

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