New Roundabout, Traffic Light Added to Common Street

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An overhead view of Common Street, including the new roundabout on the right end, and the new traffic light at Common and Spring streets (left side, near the green sections).

A much used road in Watertown has undergone a transformation this summer, and drivers will see a new roundabout and a traffic light.

The roundabout is located at the five-prong intersection of Common Street with Orchard Street and Church Street. Workers have completed the repaving of the intersection and the roundabout is operational, according to the Watertown Department of Public Works.

“The contractor has placed temporary pavement markings, signage and message boards throughout the area,” the DPW announcement said.

The circular flowing intersection is called a roundabout rather than a rotary. While both have a circular flow of traffic, roundabouts are designed to slow traffic, are smaller and have a tighter turning radius. Rotaries are larger and allow for vehicles to travel at higher speeds.

Some work still has to be done on the roundabout. Eventually there will be an island in the center of the roundabout, but for now the contractor will pave that area.

DPW officials have received comments that trucks may have trouble navigating the roundabout, but they say that will be improved.

“Please keep in mind that the area that was recently paved is narrower than the final condition, which will include an inner truck apron,” the DPW announcement said.

Another addition is the new traffic light at the intersection of Common and Spring streets, which is now in operation. The signal is located across Common Street from Watertown High School.

“Staff will monitor traffic conditions at this intersection both before and after school begins and make signal timing adjustments if needed,” the DPW announcement said.

4 thoughts on “New Roundabout, Traffic Light Added to Common Street

  1. I hope there will be a right turn on red at the intersection of Common and Spring streets.
    The yield sign that was there before always worked well because people would always stop for traffic and people crossing but would not have to sit there wasting time just sitting there.

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