With circulator nearly complete, DOT urges patience

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The Apponaug Circulator, which has become known as the Apponator, still gets one of those green spots on the governor’s construction signs to let people know the project is on budget and on time.

Soon, although a precise date isn’t being made available by the Department of Transportation (DOT), those signs will be superfluous. The $71 million project, conceived decades ago to alleviate traffic congestion and give the village a pedestrian-friendly environment that will promote economic development, will be completed.

But will it work?

Col. Stephen McCartney had his doubts a couple of weeks ago when southbound traffic heading toward East Greenwich was reduced to a crawl at the Apponaug Four Corners roundabout. That slowed traffic at the Greenwich Avenue and Veterans Memorial Drive roundabout, which in turn backed up cars to the Toll Gate and Centerville Road roundabout. Like gears in an engine running out of steam, one roundabout after the next was turning slower and slower.

McCartney thought the issue could be the reduction from two to one lane at the Apponaug Four Corners roundabout. If that was the case, rectifying it could require a redesign of the Apponaug Four Corners roundabout along with more construction, more delays and more money.

The state DOT is saying, give it some time.

“We’re pretty much done with lane closures that is building up into other circles,” DOT spokesman Charles St. Martin said last week. Reviewing video footage of village traffic, St. Martin attributes most delays to lane closures and construction.

The remaining work on the project includes signage, landscaping and decorative lights. There could be some constriction of traffic with the sealing of crosswalks over the next couple of weeks. Signing off on the project requires a final inspection with Cardi Construction, the contractor and a punch list of items requiring attention. St. Martin thought that could happen in “the springtime,” although by now the heavy work is done.

St. Martin said the DOT would be erecting some “larger scale” signs with directions aimed at assisting the motorists unfamiliar with the system of five interlinked roundabouts. As an example, he said, there would be a sign directing Post Road traffic to West Shore Road.

As for whether the system has improved traffic flow through the village, St. Martin said the department sees a correlation between traffic on Route 95 and in Apponaug. He said when traffic slows on 95 there will be a corresponding increase in Apponaug traffic. While St. Martin couldn’t provide traffic counts, as they haven’t been completed, he feels conditions have improved overall.

“We were seeing heavier than usual backups, but that’s improved now,” he said. “The good news for drivers is that it’s pretty well done.”

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Thecaptain

"McCartney thought the issue could be the reduction from two to one lane at the Apponaug Four Corners roundabout."

Gee, what 25 year veteran construction inspector made that prediction 2 years ago?

http://hummelreport.org/Stories/11.12.2015.dot.html

5 days ago
davebarry109

The more I drive through these roundabouts, the more I realize the constriction is due to dumb people not being able to judge their entry into the system. Either too timid or too aggressive. I've had to honk the horn to get people to enter and honked just yesterday to keep some dummy from entering on top of me. Stupidity is hard to undo.

5 days ago
richardcorrente

Dear davebarry109,

You're right. "Stupidity is hard to undo." Do you wonder how decreasing the square footage of roads around Apponaug by so much could actually make traffic better? I did. Those who decided on this drain on the taxpayers wallet have caused traffic accidents to increase by 800% according to the Warwick Police and from what I can see things are moving MUCH slower.

I guess that's what happens when you have much less road area and the same amount of cars. Seems to me that they should have known that up front.

Happy Thanksgiving davebarry109.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

5 days ago
Thecaptain

If you notice, Corrente has nothing substantive to say about code compliance, cost over runs, inferior materials, federal fines against the contractor, or the overall un-necessary interruption and inconvenience to the local residents, much of what could have been avoided by proper code compliance. For example, unnecessary raised concrete stamped crosswalks which historically have a low resistance to salt and sand, as opposed to high vis yellow paint. By the way, has anyone noticed that none of the stamped concrete has a homogeneous color? The unnecessary plantings that will require continued labor and costs incurred. The fact that numerous junction boxes will now have to be dug up because they were buried. The concrete reprocessing plant that was located at the foot of the Post Rd. connector that pumped tons of silica into the air in a neighborhood which was a complete violation of state and federal law.

Notice that Corrente cannot reference any specific labor that he personally put into the project in terms of APRA requests, or review of documentation to hold the DOT and the contractor responsible for compliance. Monday morning second string quarterback.

5 days ago
DanElliott

This is the worst of all of the roundabouts. There's not enough distance in the circle between the 3 entrances and all directions must yield. The assurance of the lane markers in the others is absent in this one. The bottom line is the right turn lane should have remained (there's a new one on the Fleet Bank corner that works great) and there should be no circle here.

Mr. Alviti, tear down that wall!

5 days ago
Kammy

I am not an engineer. I am not an expert on DOT projects. What I am is a commuter that has navigated VT, ME, NH, MA and RI over the past 30 years. People that live in RI don't like change. They don't adapt well to change and they complain ad nauseam when something like this goes into effect. You don't agree with me? Let's see what happens when the exit numbers change on 295. Oh, the horror!

Thecaptain, I don't disagree with you but I do not have any in depth knowledge of engineering to contribute to the discussion with any real confidence. I only know that as a driver that used to avoid the area during rush hour, I am pleased that my commute time has been halved due to the roundabouts. I haven't witness an accident, nor have I been delayed due to an accident. I only have had a positive experience.

For those that are aggressive - YIELD. It is a law and a rare sight to see on RI roadways. For those that are timid - spend some time (not during rush hour) driving through Appanoug a few times until you are comfortable with the lanes and directions. Get comfortable with the layout so that you are not scared to make a wrong turn or get in the wrong lane.

I have said it before and I will say it again. This isn't going anywhere soon so you need to adapt to the layout.

4 days ago
johnlor

One problem. does everybody need to go to Cumberland farms?.every morning landscaping trucks try to pull in and tie up the traffic going south.can't people make there coffee at home?and fill you lawnmowers at night so you can go straight to you first customer.

4 days ago
WwkVoter

Since Corrente also says that our Warwick population is plummeting, people are fleeing in droves, and business community collapsing, which would lead to much less traffic, surely reducing the square footage of roads would be in line with those trends. Oh wait....

As to the story, I'm with Kammy and find it better, easier, and MUCH better to look at. I like the plantings, the two way traffic, and the newness. Most of Cote's (legitimate) observations relate to the construction phase which is now over, so let's hope the drivers continue to adapt and we can enjoy the fresh new look.

4 days ago
ppaddler

The only thing wrong with these roundabouts are the motorists who don't know what the word YIELD means. I have never breezed through Apponaug so easily. A stellar job!

3 days ago
ElPresidente

A few things stand out in the comments section here. Among them is the captain who claims to be an expert and comments all the time on the project, and richardcorrente, who seems to have some ongoing petty dispute with thecaptain. Neither one has a clue about roundabouts. Just read what they wrote and you can see it has no basis in fact at all. Notice that thecaptain can’t make any valid design claims. He proved this in previous stories where he didn’t even know what a truck apron was, let alone what it was used for. Same with the brick walls in the islands. If either of these two took five minutes and Googled “how to design a roundabout”, they would see the FHWA guide and it shows how roundabouts are sized and designed. Look at AAA – in May 2017 they released their Fact Sheet and they say that converting key intersections to roundabouts is the number one safety improvement they can make. That is a FACT. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety promotes roundabouts and their benefits constantly, again, a fact. The car insurance companies who pay out accident claims fully support and endorse roundabouts. Think about that for a second. The people who have to pay for all the accidents want more roundabouts because they are safer and cause less harm and damage. Did you know that some states have a “roundabout first” policy? That means you have to prove a roundabout won’t work before a signal can be put in. These are facts, not speculations. Why are you talking about crashes during construction and equating it with the finished product? That’s ridiculous and people with any common sense can see that. Where are the miles of backup? How do you not see how well these are operating? You must be blind or ignorant or both.

2 days ago
Thecaptain

Umm, Elpresidente,

I haven't a clue? I am a certified construction inspector with multiple credentials. I have made comment on this blog about the Apponaug Circulator numerous times with regard to QUALITY ASSURANCE and CODE COMPLIANCE. If you have followed this project since 2014 you would see that the cost more than doubled and that there were code compliance issues since day 1. The project has caused unnecessary interruptions in the local community that largely could have been mitigated by night work, and compliance to code.

Having said that, there is much to this project that could have been cut out to save money. Look at the stamped concrete. Not 1 batch matches in color to the batch next to it. The raised concrete cross walks are ridiculous and will be destroyed in a couple of winters. They should have just been painted cross walks. The majority of the plantings wont last, they have already been dug up twice at the 1st round about near the railroad overpass. More waste.

Just because the design is approved by the FHWA doesnt mean that it will fit with the local traffic flow. At 3pm any day, the north bound traffic from East G on Post Rd is backed up for miles as the "roundabout in front of Cumberland Farms is ridiculous. By the way, accidents have sky rocketed.

2 days ago
ElPresidente

TheCaptain.

Yawn. Here we go again with your so-called expertise - I just pointed out to you that you were commenting about crashes during construction. If you knew anything you would know that accident data isn’t valid until 1 year after the project has been completed – then you take 3 years of data and you get the real story. The crashes aren’t just a function of the roundabouts – there is a whole new roadway and traffic has been converted from one-way to two-way for large sections. What did you think was going to happen when it first started? Can you comment on the number of crashes statewide and nationwide this past year alone? Hint – they have skyrocketed.

If YOU had followed the project since before 2006 you would know that the original project would have had 8 signals. Yes. Eight. Did you ever even look at those plans? Do you not know what this area would have looked like with signals? Do you not wonder why it got shelved for so long before finally moving forward?

If you truly understood the code (they’re actually called specifications - says so on the cover of the Blue Book as shown on the DOT website – maybe you haven’t really seen it) you would read that it always says “or as directed by the Engineer.” That means if the Engineer approves it, it’s ok. These are roads, not buildings.

Show me the doubled costs – what are you even talking about? You do understand that there were multiple phases for multiple projects here that included the building demo, river daylighting, the actual roundabout construction, utility relocating, etc right? You do understand that most of those costs would have been incurred either way (if they went with signal)s right?

Raised concrete crosswalks serve more than one purpose. They slow vehicles down. Have you not noticed the larger number of pedestrian fatalities in Warwick? Concrete lasts far longer than striping and if you were paying attention, the crosswalks were banded with stripes so we get both. If they get destroyed they can be rebuilt. It’s concrete. DOT needs to provide as much as they can for the safety of pedestrians. I'm all for them.

The color doesn’t match? Boo hoo. Is that what you’re hanging your hat on? It's not a beauty contest.

You do know night work is way more expensive than day work right?

Of course it will fit with local flow. Why is it that you think you are smarter than a panel of National Experts who have monitored projects nationwide for 25 years and determined that this was the best course of action? Roundabout corridors work all over the country to the benefit of everyone.

I see you have no response to my FACTS from AAA, FHWA, IIHS, and the insurance companies. Nor can you provide a response to the roundabout first policy of several states. Why is that?

What do you think that traffic would have looked like with signals? Can you honestly say you think it would be better? That would just show your ignorance. You have done zero research on roundabout operations and safety, and it is glaring.

Yes – NO CLUE.

2 days ago
DanteF

Wow! Nice to see someone finally calling Thecaptains bluff. He's always claiming to be an expert about everything but based on all the information he sends out that is actually false its clear really does not have a clue. He may have some background on buildings but he clearly knows nothing about roadways nor does he take the time to even try to educate himself before sending out more "fake news". I also have always wondered how he now portrays himself as being concerned about the environment by complaining about construction dust but was arrested for pouring gasoline into the drain of his business. What a scam.

http://www.dem.ri.gov/news/1998/pr/0605981.htm

2 days ago
Thecaptain

ElPresidente,

Once again you are missing the point. For example - "The Blue Book" Aka The Rhode Island Specification for Road and Bridge Design. This is the code book that is specified in the contract documents. As an example to my argument which is based on QUALITY ASSURANCE. The specification clearly states that the use of "BUCKET STRIKES" for compaction SHALL be prohibited. It has been clearly documented, not only by me, but by the APRA requests that where received by Hummel, that this issue was written up dozens of times and there was no compliance.

The implementation of a concrete reprocessing plant at the foot of the Post Rd. connector adjacent to a neighborhood, which dumped tons of silica and pond silt into the atmosphere for months without dust mitigation. Written up numerous times in field reports yet nothing done about it.

Complete lack of dust mitigation throughout the project at all locations, written up in daily field reports day after day. I guess you dont understand that my argument is about QUALITY ASSURANCE.

By the way, I do understand that night work is more expensive as it is a small increase in premium time, however, are you aware that progress at night is much higher than the same work during the day due to less traffic? That's why MA DOT performs the majority of their work at night , which by the way, I have been involved din for years.

Are you familiar with the term proper fill and compaction? Probably not, sounds like you are just concerned about the finished product. Did you know that under the specification Cardi was required to have an maintain an full time QAR (QUALITY ASSURANCE REP) and they did not. So because they did not have a qualified person on staff they had to hire Theilsch Engineering to fill the position. Since when on any project does the third party inspection company work on behalf of the contractor? Never, only in Rhode Island.

Get a grip.

http://www.hummelreport.org/Stories/11.12.2015.dot.html

Looks like Scott Small the criminal wife beater changed his name again. Now he is DanteF, last month Tim Mclaughlin, then Chuck Bones, then Union thug. What a piece of work. Scott, arent you busy writing anonymous harassing letters and mailing them to residents?

2 days ago
Thecaptain

By the way, I love all of the rusty iron cross walk plates and utility covers. They look awesome on the new concrete sidewalks.

2 days ago
DanteF

Thecaption

Funny, I just went back to the first post and opened the link provided that supposedly backed up a claim that you claim you made 2 years ago about a lane reduction. After watching the link I found there was not one single reference about any traffic concerns, never mind any relating to a reduction of two lanes to one anywhere in the report. Once again, he tries to make it sound like he is the all knowing when he is actually the all "NOT KNOWING". Caption redirection continues his famous three card Monty show, but be aware, if you watch and check to see if what he says is true, you see its all just a slight of hand nothing that is real!!! As always!

And by the way, I much prefer the patina of the natural looking wheelchair ramp plates to the ugly yellow ones they used to use that always peeled. But that's just my opinion, I won't claim to say that its right or wrong.

2 days ago
Thecaptain

That's correct, because the interview subject was QUALITY CONTROL AND CODE COMPLIANCE. Not traffic. Guess you are unable to comprehend.

12 hours ago