FARWELL – Clare County saw a first on the morning of Friday, Oct. 27. That was when the first traffic roundabout in Clare County was officially opened at the intersection of Old State Avenue and Surrey Road.
The project itself took place over a relatively short period of time, approximately …. according to Dewayne Rogers, managing director of the Clare County Road Commission. He said the Clare County Sheriff Department had approached the CCRC about the intersection early on.
“When I hired in, the sheriff’s department – Steve – had come in and said ‘You have to do something about that intersection, because that’s our worst one,’” he said. “I’m like, well, show me the numbers – and we had all the numbers.”
Rogers also informed that this roundabout was welcomed by many people in the area for that same reason – including a retired nurse who lives at one corner of the intersection.
“When we talked to her about purchasing part of her property, she was so excited, and said ‘You don’t know how many times I’ve done CPR on that intersection,’” Rogers said. “So that was good to hear.”
When it came time for the official ribbon-cutting ceremony, the oversized scissors were wielded by CCRC Chairperson Karen Hulliberger. That snip was followed by some official words from Rogers, including thanking Surveying Solutions out of Standish; Adam and Todd the project engineers who Rogers said had put in a lot of time coming up with the design and drawing up the project.
“We worked hard to purchase our right-of-way easements, and all kinds of stuff that went into it ahead of time,” he said. “Thanks to Malley Construction out of Isabella; they did this job and the other job, coordinated both. They were great to work with. It took maybe 10 weeks to do all this, so we really appreciate the work, Chad, working with you.”
He also went on to thank Al and Mandy, road commission staff, for putting in so many hours making sure everything was put in correctly.
“And the sheriff department for kind of putting this crazy idea in my head with all the traffic, and all the local support,” Rogers said. “I hope this takes care of any major accidents in the future – and we don’t ever have to worry about that.
Just a few minutes after Rogers’ remarks concluded and the opening was official, as though on cue, the first official users of the intersection appeared from the west – an Amish buggy carrying one adult and two youngsters. There was amused chuckling from the crowd, but it might better be appreciated that motor vehicle driver inattention has resulted in numerous injuries and fatalities in the county’s Amish community. By every driver being forced to slow down at the intersection, there is little doubt that lives will be saved. © Clare County Cleaver
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