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New Roundabout Ready in Luzerne County

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NANTICOKE -- Crews are finishing up work on a new roundabout in Luzerne County. It's the first of six expected to be put in the area around Luzerne County Community College.

Crews spent the day putting the finishing touches on the roundabout at the intersection of Espy Street and Middle Road in Nanticoke. The intersection has been closed off for much of 2016 because of the construction.

"It's been torture as far as business goes," said Bob Wren.

Wren is a manager at the Cocoa Hut right next to the roundabout and admits he's seen a drop of 85 percent in business since the work started back in the spring.

"It's been a very difficult time for, not only customers, but employees because their hours were all cut. Customers, I don't know if they're going to come back because they've had different routes to work for the past seven months," Wren said.

"I'll probably still avoid it," said Tami Brudzinski of Bear Creek Township. "I just don't like roundabouts. I do not like roundabouts. I don't like the one they put in at the airport and it's just something we're not used to."

"I don't know what's going to happen," Wren added. "I can't see the people in Nanticoke yielding. I can see a lot of people around here riding around in circles. It's going to be funny for a while until everyone gets adjusted to it."

According to PennDOT, the roundabouts are meant to improve traffic flow and safety along Middle Road.

"I know that people that live on Middle Road right now they get annoyed with all that traffic that they face every day. It's going to take away all that traffic from the residential side. I think that's awesome. It's going to slow everything down for them. It's also going to streamline more traffic in my direction so I think that's a good thing too," said Brian Williams, Grateful Roast Cafe owner.

Work continues on two more roundabouts along Middle Road in Nanticoke, along with three more in Hanover Township. Work is expected to be completed on all of them by 2020.