Image Caption: Travelers using Stonehenge Road have been met with this closure sign for much of the summer. According to the town it will continue for the next few weeks. Photo by Chris Paul
For just about the entire summer, residents and commuters that use Stonehenge Road have been inconvenienced by the off sight improvements that have been happening in association with the MacGregor Cut housing project on that road.
Stonehenge Road, which is only about a mile long, has had half the roadway shut down to through traffic since just before July 4, and is currently still in that state.
According to John Trottier, Londonderry’s Assistant Director of Public Works and Engineering, the project has hit a few snags. Most of which involve the fact that the crews working on supplying gas, water and sewer to the project, have hit large sections of ledge.
Trottier said, “They should be laying the ‘Box-Cut’ by the end of September to the middle of September.” Thus ending the inconvenience that area residents have had to endure all summer. The box cut, is the stripping away of old material, and laying new material and pavement.
Along with the problem of not being able to use he road, residents on Hardy Road have seen a huge increase in the amount of traffic because of the road closure, the biggest of which includes the trucks that are being deviated from their normal path headed to the airport.
When contacted, local residents say they’re not happy about the situation.
One of the abutters to the project, David Nease, who lives on Faye Lane, commented, “These are the same concerns residents brought up at dozens of Planning and ZBA meetings and the town ignored. It started with daily blasting over the summer, road closures, and the constant sound of heavy equipment and jack hammers. The developer paid for studies that said the buildings wouldn’t be seen from the neighboring streets so they could build them taller and maximize his profits, but the buildings are clearly visible from Meetinghouse and Parrish Hill. Where’s the town oversight? Next the taxpayers will be footing the bill to build a new elementary school. None of this should be a surprise.”
Hardy Road residents have been directly affected by the summer-long road closure also, with much of the traffic being re-routed down their street.
Kerry Stanley, who lives on Hardy Road is not surprised, “Not only did they allow for this cluster to happen, they’ve added insult to injury by prolonging the construction. What month are we on now with having to reroute around? Two? Three? I’ve lost track. It’s like Stonehenge East doesn’t even exist anymore. When it finally does open, we will get to deal with the onslaught of more traffic as occupancy of the apartments begins. We are already seeing it at the Mammoth/Stonehenge/Litchfield intersection. I guess you really can put a square peg into a round hole after all, when you force it.”
Also compounding the issue is the ongoing I-93 expansion project that will continue for the foreseeable future as the state widens the bridges at the opposite end of Stonehenge Road.