Roundabout Project Nearly Complete

Weather has delayed the opening of a traffic roundabout in England Airpark, but the work is almost finished.

"We're real close to the end," said Jon Grafton, executive director of the England Authority. "We've been delayed a little bit because of this cold weather, but we're getting close. We're not too far off, we just need a little warmer weather to get some of the striping and some other work done."

The roundabout is a redesign of the intersection of Vandenburg Drive and England Drive. That intersection is a popular route not only for people coming to and from the airpark, which includes Alexandria International Airport, but also for people traveling to and from Interstate 49.

The intersection was not built to accommodate the kind of traffic it was getting, Grafton said, and needed to be improved. After input from traffic engineers, the decision was made to go with a roundabout rather than a traditional intersection.

A roundabout is a circular roadway with multiple entry and exit points. Including the one at the airpark, three roundabouts are under construction or planned in Central Louisiana.

The England Airpark intersection has been closed since Sept. 28. It was originally expected to be closed for approximately 90 days.

"We wanted to open (the roundabout) right around Christmastime," Grafton said. "But the contractor ran into some underground conflicts (with things such as utilities) that delayed us, as well as the weather."

In in the interim, traffic that would run through the intersection has been diverted via Chennault Avenue for vehicles on Vandenburg Drive and near the fire station for vehicles on England Drive.

"It has worked out well," Grafton said. "We would like to thank people for their patience and cooperation while we do this."

Source: The Town Talk

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