Let the games begin! While I was recently travelling in Great Barrington, there were slight delays heading to my destination as construction has gone full tilt to improve traffic flow in this southern Berkshire municipality. You may ask what is causing all this gridlock? The preliminary blueprint to construct a roundabout (or rotary) is well under way and it will be situated in a major intersection where routes 7, 23 and 41 bisect.

traffic barricades and road work ahead sign

The roundabout will be parallel to Great Barrington's police station as Town Manager Mark Pruhenski stressed the inconvenience will prove to be challenging, but the final end result will result in upgrades on crosswalks and sidewalks and a relocation of all utilities within the vicinity. But the headaches continue for motorists. Here is a detailed map once the long awaited "roundabout" will be completed.

attachment-Map Of Rotary

We are already seeing drivers carefully maneuvering towards getting to their impending destinations as traffic splits up the arterial both north and south bound and there are times where a local police officer will be situated to direct traffic to keep things under control. But time is of the essence. Or is it? Look at some of the other incomplete projects throughout the town:

attachment-Division St Bridge

For starters: When will The Division Street bridge re-open? For now, drivers have to use an already crowded route 41 as a detour or take route 183 into Housatonic before heading back to 41 or taking route 7 to Stockbridge. Keep in mind, this has been a major inconvenience for all who want to make their way north to West Stockbridge or Pittsfield as they must use alternate routes which has been the case for the past few years. Let's not forget The Cottage Street bridge is STILL closed which deprives motorists of taking an extra short cut towards Main Street. The exact re-opening of that span remains unannounced to this day.

attachment-Railroad St Lot

Don't forget as time goes by, you will NOT be able to park at The Railroad Street Lot opposite the Tri-Plex Cinemas as that area is scheduled to be torn down however vehicles will have a designated parking area for a limited number of spaces, but that move forces those to use Main Street and other municipal lots within the downtown confines. Translation: Another headache on the horizon.

If you need more details, log on to The Town of Great Barrington's web site OR check for updates on The Great Barrington Police Department's page by going here. We also invite you to tap in on the WSBS web site as we'll keep you up to speed (no pun intended) on developing details regarding road closures, delays and traffic hot spots.

Finally, I close with these three words of wisdom that will keep us sane from this so-called traffic nightmare: "PACK YOUR PATIENCE"!!! Trust me, it's NOT easy, but it's the ONLY antidote that I have regarding all-important sage advice to keep everyone safe on our local roadways each and every day. We are ALL in this together, so let's band as one to make things more bearable while behind the wheel on a daily basis.

(Photo of Railroad St. parking lot courtesy of The Town of Great Barrington's Facebook page)

(Photos of roundabout map and The Division Street bridge courtesy of The Berkshire Edge)

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