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A Hummel Report Investigation

Into The Homestretch

With the homestretch of 2017 in view, we have conclusions to some of the stories we have reported over the past several years: from the long-awaited, and much-maligned, Apponaug Circulator Project and the relocation of a controversial asphalt plant - to the completion of a new bike path running along some of the waterfront in Providence. Jim Hummel has our quarterly update.

SCRIPT

As we head into the homestretch to the end of 2017, our updates include some conclusions as well: beginning with the Apponaug Circulator Project, which has been a major headache for motorists trying to navigate the area over the past two summers.
The DOT is heading into its own homestretch on the much-anticipatedand often-maligned circulator. The official completion date is Nov. 30th - when state officials hope the project, as envisioned years ago, will come to fruition and make traffic smoother.
Our investigation last spring showed there were more than 100 accidents at the five intersections in the six month since initial sections of the project were opened - four at the time with rotaries - primarily fender-benders caused by people confused about how to negotiate the traffic circles. And who yields to whom.
The summer brought more headaches than relief as traffic was often backed up while crews continued to work. Viewers sent us pictures of the accidents, the plethora of orange barrels and ponding after heavy rains.
The DOT tells The Hummel Report the project is on time and on budget - the revised budget of $71 million - not the $30 million project initially presented to the taxpayers.
We first told you four years ago about a controversial asphalt plant right in the middle of Coventry and the owner’s pledge at the time t move out of that location. Last winter that pledge turned into a reality and last week we went to see how he was doing at his new location at Quonset.
Owner Tom Miozzi directed the move himself - part of it during the early stages of a snowstorm last winter. He moved his plant, piece by piece, 12 miles down the back roads to its new home: a parcel double the size in Quonset, where there are no residential neighbors as there were in Coventry.
Miozzi tells us he is doing 11 percent more business than he did this time last year and expects to produce more than 140 tons of asphalt by the end of the season later this year, a record for his company.
Because there are no time restrictions on hours of operations, he says his trucks have been able to leave at 5 a.m. rather than 7 - opening up new business opportunities in neighboring Connecticut and Massachusetts.
Last year we reported on a plan aimed at making it easier to get to the Seekonk River on the East Side of Providence. Part of those plans included a bike path. And last month: they completed it.

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