Roundabout nears completion

Malta's fifth roundabout could be completed as early as Monday, Sept. 25, according to the Department of Transportation. That's good news for downtown businesses and Malta residents who have been using detour routes since the closure of the Route 9 and Route 67 intersections on Monday.

There is a financial incentive to be done in seven days, said DOT Capital Region spokesman Peter Van Keuren, who said the project is scheduled to take 11 days, ending on Sept. 29. He said typically including that kind of incentive in the written agreement with contractors works well.

The signaled intersection will be replaced by yet another roundabout. Van Keuren said this will be one of the town's larger roundabouts, with two lanes.

Drivers who typically use that intersection for commuting or to access the many businesses in the area are being redirected around the construction area through a network of local roads. Detour routes go through Parade Ground Village, Blacksmith Drive and the Shops of Malta. Every business in the area is accessible via the detours.

"Don't stop going to the businesses," urges Van Keuren. "All the businesses are open and can be accessed."

This is the last roundabout in a series that starts in front of the State Farm complex, with two more roundabouts at each of the Northway exit ramps, and a fourth just east of the Northway. The state is required to include roundabouts as an available option for intersection improvements on its roadways.

A roundabout is a circular intersection that serves to lower the speed of traffic and maintain a freer flow of traffic. Traffic entering the roundabout is required to yield to vehicles already in the roundabout. Typically roundabouts are designed for a maximum speed of 30 miles per hour with much of the traffic going through at an even slower speed.

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