Record editorial: Patience and planning will get drivers through disruptive roundabouts project
The roadwork project many residents have been dreading is here.
On Monday, June 10, construction is scheduled to begin on the long-awaited roundabouts project designed to make getting on and off Interstate 80 in Jeremy Ranch a much smoother experience.
The need for the traffic circles is clear, as the current level of rush-hour congestion at the Jeremy Ranch interchange is untenable. Without the project, the situation would further deteriorate over time given the traffic increase projected in the coming decades. The urgency is one reason Summit County officials proceeded with the project despite contractor pricing bids for the work earlier this spring coming back 24 percent higher than the county initially expected.
There’s no getting around it: The construction will be a headache for commuters. This is no minor undertaking. The project is expected to stretch into the winter, and though full road closures are not anticipated, regular lane restrictions will be required and significant traffic delays will be commonplace. County Manager Tom Fisher put it bluntly as officials were preparing for the project last fall: “This is going to be a big disturbance.”
What, then, are commuters to do? The answer is simple: Plan ahead and exercise patience.
The latter will require a temperament adjustment for the many drivers susceptible to bouts of road rage. The former should be relatively easy: The county, reacting to feedback that there wasn’t enough communication before the disruptive Kilby Road redesign last summer, has upped its outreach efforts, getting the word out in the months leading up to the roundabouts project. And residents can receive regular email alerts throughout the work by signing up at letsgosummit.com. Updates will also be posted on the county’s Facebook page.
There’s no way to sugarcoat it: Folks who live in Jeremy Ranch and Pinebrook and the thousands of drivers who frequent the I-80 on- and off-ramps there are in for a frustrating summer. But with some foresight and a calm attitude, everyone impacted will make it through with their sanity, then reap the rewards when this much-needed project is finished.
More information about the roundabouts project, and construction updates, can be found at letsgosummit.com.
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The efforts of organizations like the South Summit Trails Foundation mean access to easy access to trails is no longer an amenity enjoyed only on the West Side.