Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 08-08-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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28 CUMBERLAND AUGUST 8-14, 2019 | VALLEY BREEZE | CUMBERLAND LINCOLN EDITION After a winter hiatus, work resumed in the spring. The project consists of adding roundabouts at the Chapel Four Corners intersection and at both Route 295 Exit 22 ramps. Representatives from the Rhode Island Department of Transportation told The Breeze that the project is on time and on budget and that drain- age work is being completed now, followed by curb and sidewalk instal- lations, but did not comment on resi- dents' concerns. According to a project update listed on RIDOT's website, there will be alternating lane closures from Angell Road to Industrial Road, Sunday through Thursday nights from 7:30 p.m. to 4 a.m. to allow for drainage work on the south side of Diamond Hill Road. Crews are working both day and night, depending upon the operation, according to RIDOT. Neighbors on Home Avenue and Old Diamond Hill Road lamented the fact that they lost the vegetative buffer blocking their neighborhood from traffic on Diamond Hill Road, as part of the construction work. "We're very anxious for the trees and brush to be replanted," Brousseau said, adding that she doesn't know when new vegetation will be planted. Not only is there a lack of privacy, but residents said they had to fight to get a fence put around the construc- tion site, worried for the safety of young children who live there who now have exposure to the 295 on- ramp. Residents also pointed out a new body of standing water, measuring six feet deep at one point, that has formed on the site in the area where the trees were removed, they said. While it is fenced off, a piece of the fence can easily be opened to allow access to the site. If a neighbor receives a response from officials, the Facebook page serves as a great place to post that information, Brousseau said, adding that people can also share something as simple as a picture of a flat tire caused by the construction. "You can tell there's a big interest and desire for people to speak up," she said of the growing Facebook page. Brousseau has been gathering and sending posts to officials at RIDOT, but she said she hasn't received any- thing more than a vague response thanking her for her inquiry. "If Jen isn't getting a response, all of us are frustrated as well," DaSilva said of Brousseau as the unofficial spokeswoman for the group. Town officials have been more responsive and supportive, Brousseau said. In addition to the fence, neighbors said another success was getting "dead-end" signs put up after they noticed an increase in traffic coming into the neighborhood and turning around. Marie-anne Paquin, who's lived at 12 Old Diamond Hill Road for 36 years, said she'd like to see another neighborhood meeting with state officials so they can voice their con- cerns, adding that it would be nice if RIDOT could check in every three months. "The noise at night has been crazy," she said. "I went almost a week without sleep." Late night detours and loud drilling that causes her house to shake have been nuisances for DaSilva, who moved into her house last July right before construction started, unaware of the upcoming RIDOT project, and who has young children. She said the disturbances have "calmed down a little bit" now that construction isn't right next to her house, but asks that the workers, who are outside yelling at midnight and in the early morning, have a little more consideration for neighbors. While Brousseau said it's great to speak up on Facebook, she has been encouraging people to reach out to local and state officials, keeping a list of contact information. "It's so important that the majority of people speak to the right people. That's the only way to make impact," she said. Her goal, she added, is to find solu- tions, open up communication, and hopefully have an impact. "I know that this project is for the betterment of the community," she said. "I don't want to complain about everything … I want (construction) to be done. I want it to go as fast as possible." FRUSTRATION From Page One BREEZE PHOTOS BY MELANIE THIBEAULT JENNIFER BROUSSEAU, of 3 Home Ave. in Cumberland, above, points to the construction site directly across from her property. At left, this stand- ing body of water didn't exist before crews removed trees between Diamond Hill Road and Old Diamond Hill Road to begin work on the double roundabout project, according to residents of the neighborhood. With young kids in the neighborhood, residents have expressed concerns about the water, which they said measured six feet deep at one point. 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