Faunce Corner Rd: Dartmouth’s newest parking lot

Faunce+Corner+Rd%3A+Dartmouth%27s+newest+parking+lot

Resentment has grown over the recent construction on Faunce Corner Road, especially from those who travel along it on a regular basis.

Junior Allison Taylor estimated a 20-minute drive to navigate the busy street on a Friday night. A drive through, for myself, took nearly 10-minutes due to the surge of hungry diners piling into Texas Roadhouse.

History teacher Elizabeth True said, “It’s a mess. I feel bad for the businesses around there.”

According to my experience, however, businesses such as Texas Roadhouse and Hess gas station, which was filled with cars impatiently humming for fuel, seemed to prove otherwise.

State Representative Chris Markey also disputed the loss of business issue by reminding the public that the construction in that area was only temporary and, therefore, would not affect businesses in the long run.

Although it is true that the Faunce Corner Road project will be underway for two and a half years, contractors were hopeful to have both lanes back open by Friday, October 10.

After the median has been ripped up and repaved, construction will move towards the east side of the road, expanding the right lane approximately 10 feet starting near the Mobil gas station. This will allow for a second lane moving northbound across the overpass and push the on-ramp for I-195 West farther to the right. The project will then slowly move north towards the overpass and, lastly, to the off-ramp from I-195, which is to be extended to compensate for the backup coming onto Faunce Corner.

The addition of a lane to the overpass is the main reason why the project is projected to take an entire two and a half years. This is because regulations around overpass infrastructure have changed since the original one was built. The work must be done in a very specific and precise manner to meet safety codes.

Representative Markey said, “It is going to require more work than just resurfacing the road and just turning it over.”

This is a large project and many details are going to have to be accounted for while reconstructing the overpass. The hope is that the third lane, which is being paved in lieu of the median and 10-foot extension, and the addition of a second northbound lane on the overpass, will allow the increased traffic flow to move more freely and efficiently through Faunce Corner.

Further questioning of Representative Markey also concluded that this project had been in the blueprints for eight to ten years prior to the start of construction, solely because of increased traffic flow due to the road becoming a center for healthcare. It has become the business strip of Dartmouth. Only recently has enough funding been raised in order to complete this task.

The project was not, as many people believe, a result of traffic predictions caused by the creation of the psychiatric hospital further down the street. Rather, it was a worry for public safety due to large traffic movement.

If you wish to learn more about this project or alternative routes feel free to join the Facebook page Faunce Corner Road Construction Project, or follow @FaunceCornerRd on Twitter.