Chapel reconfiguration may wait until spring

Chapel reconfiguration may wait until spring

The stone “Cumberland” wall at the Route 295 north exit on Diamond Hill Road will be preserved and moved back as part of a double roundabout project. (Breeze photo by Ethan Shorey)
Cumberland wall will be kept, moved back

CUMBERLAND – Utility crews are continuing their work along Diamond Hill Road’s double roundabout project, which includes the Chapel Four Corners intersection, but there’s no word yet on whether the work will be complete in time to reconfigure the busy intersection before cold weather hits.

“The utility relocation that’s happening with National Grid needs to be done before that phase of the project starts,” said Charles St. Martin, spokesman for the Rhode Island Department of Transportation.

St. Martin said he’ll know in a few more weeks whether the work will happen by the end of this year or be scheduled for next spring.

RIDOT officials originally said they expected the reconfiguration of the intersection to happen in 2018.

National Grid trucks have been seen in the area over the past few weeks as new electric poles have been installed to allow future widening of the road. Planned as part of the widening are new turn lanes at the intersection and a second lane heading from Route 295 to the intersection of Bear Hill Road and Angell Road.

St. Martin also answered a question a number of residents have asked about whether the stone wall with the engraved “Cumberland” next to the Route 295 north exit roundabout will be taken down or moved.

“The wall will be kept, but will need to be moved back in accordance with the new curb line,” he said. “It will be done such that it will look like it does today when they are finished.”

The double roundabout project at Route 295, designed to create a better flow of traffic through the entire Diamond Hill Road corridor, is expected to be complete in two years. RIDOT officials say added turn lanes and other improvements at Chapel will work together with the roundabout patterns at each exit to keep traffic moving more quickly.

Public safety officials have warned that there will likely be more accidents in the area in the time immediately after the project is completed, but accidents in roundabouts are typically said to be less severe than collisions involving cars pulling across multiple lanes of traffic.

A separate water line replacement project along Diamond Hill Road is happening at the same time as the roundabout project.