EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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September 6, 2013

Construction causing backups in Derry

DERRY — Going from East Derry to South Range Elementary School used to be a breeze for Trista Kort.

Now, she needs to find a new route.

“I haven’t figured out how I’m going to get where I’m going,” she said. “I probably will have to cut through some poor residential neighborhood.”

She’s not alone.

Busy Rockingham Road is under construction. Since Tuesday, it’s been closed from Bradford Street to Winter Hill — and it will stay that way through November

“The most efficient way to do it is to come in and shut the road completely,” said Mike Fowler, the town’s director of public works. “We can reopen the road sooner, as opposed to doubling the cost and doing it one lane at a time.”

The town will be constructing a new bridge and installing water, drainage and sewage in the area. The road will be closed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

With a major road closed, Fowler said, he was prepared for a ripple effect throughout town.

“We know that more people would be going through town on Route 102 to avoid the detour,” he said. “So, we have changed the timing of the traffic signal on Route 102 and Route 28, to allow more traffic to pass through.”

Derry police will be stationed at both ends of the detour to help redirect motorists. At Birch Street, they will be directed to take Windham Road to Berry Road to rejoin Route 28. At the Route 28/Bypass 28 intersection, drivers will go through the rotary to Route 102 to meet with Route 28.

Police Capt. Vernon Thomas said he has noticed a bumpy start this week, but expects things to settle down.

“There has been a backup in all directions at the beginning,” he said. “But we expect it to be better at the end of this week, after they learn the detour.”

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