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State says Duxbury roundabout to be complete by October

Police have been called to the intersection of Kingstown Way/Route 53 and Winter Street in Duxbury many times over the years because of car accidents. (Jeanne White)
Jeanne White
Police have been called to the intersection of Kingstown Way/Route 53 and Winter Street in Duxbury many times over the years because of car accidents. (Jeanne White)

Work on a new roundabout to replace a dangerous intersection in Duxbury should rev up next month and wrap up by October, officials say.

The need to improve Route 53’s intersection with Winter Street, the scene of many traffic accidents through the years, was first acknowledged by the state in 2001, said Judith Riley, a spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, and plans have been in the works since 2009.

She said roadway excavation and a modified traffic pattern are scheduled for April, the installation of curbing for the single-lane roundabout for May, permanent pavement markings in June, and site cleanup and plantings through September.

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The $1.4 million project was originally supposed to be done by March 21, she said, but utility redesigns and last year’s severe winter pushed the completion date back.

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State Representative Josh Cutler, a Duxbury Democrat, says he will welcome that finish, which he called “a long time coming.” He said the town had input into the project’s design, and while many were frustrated over the delays, most are pleased the end is in sight.

No one will be happier to see the project in the rear view mirror than Jeanne White and her husband, Michael, whose home of 30 years on Route 53 — or Kingstown Way at this stretch — abuts the construction site. The work has meant trucks outside their bedroom window in the morning, she said, and large bright temporary lights at night.

“It’s a very depressing nightmare, something we never dreamed would happen,’’ said White, who called the work “Duxbury’s Big Dig.”

While pleased the issue of accidents at the intersection was being addressed, White said she was not happy with the solution — the roundabout in place of the flashing red light that had hung there for years — nor that some of the couple’s property was taken by eminent domain.

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That piece, said Riley, the state spokeswoman, in an e-mail, was one of four small land takings required by the project.

Paul Brogna, an engineer who serves as co-chairman of the town’s Highway Safety Committee, said this would be Duxbury’s second roundabout. It’s a type of design, he said, the state seems to be favoring of late.

It should, he said, “keep traffic flowing efficiently and safely twenty-four seven.”

Jean Lang can be reached at jeanmcmillanlang@gmail.com.