Roundabout construction begins on Torrey/North road intersection

Natily Hall, Writer

Fenton is officially getting its first roundabout; construction began earlier this month and is now in full swing. On Dec. 10, 2018 the Fenton City Council voted to put in a roundabout at the intersection of North and Torrey Road, as opposed to being regulated by one stop sign. This will be part of the 2020-2023 Transportation Improvement Program.

According to Lieutenant Cross of the Fenton Police Department, there have been accidents and deaths in the intersection. He also said he personally thinks a roundabout would be helpful to the Fenton community. A lot of parents and community members are wondering how the new drivers will be taught to use this roundabout. 

“On average, adults are more scared [of roundabouts] than teens,” Drivers Education teacher Patricia Gray said. “When I teach them, we start in Heartland with a one lane [roundabout] and then extend to Bristol Road.”

Despite the stigma surrounding roundabouts, they eliminate many of the risky maneuvers for drivers.

“Statistics show that roundabouts are safer, specifically because there are no left turns, which are some of the most dangerous things for drivers.” Gray said. “It is also safer for the ecosystem because they take care of themselves unlike stop lights.”  

The cost for the entire project is $1.34 million, the construction of the roundabout has already started. The intersection is surrounded by stores and restaurants such as The Barn, Matt and Terry’s Market, Beale Street Smokehouse BBQ and a Sunoco gas station.

“The most difficult part of construction was the beginning. It restricted getting into The Barn and had a big impact on the business,” Jason Warda, owner of The Barn on Torrey Road said. “There has been some lateness [with staff], tips have been low and we have lost employees because they were not making enough money. The construction has had a major impact on us.” 

The Barn, shop and gas station near the intersection have kept their businesses well-known on social media, with construction updates trying to spread the word that they are still open.

 “[North and Torrey Road] has always been a tricky corner,” says Warda, “and it has always been struggling with the traffic.”

The roundabout is scheduled to be completed by November replacing the stop sign traffic, as well as plans to pave North Road.