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Final touches being put on Emerald Isle roundabout

Whether you're for or against it, Emerald Isle is expecting its new roundabout to be open by March 1. (Nate Belt, NewsChannel 12 photo)

Whether you're for or against it, Emerald Isle is expecting its new roundabout to be open by March 1.

Opponents of the roundabout argue people do not know how to use them properly, causing traffic backups. Now, the town has a couple of chances for you to learn how it operates.

"The Emerald Isle Police Department has put together a helpful information session for folks," said town manager Frank Rush. "I think the key thing for people to remember is really quite simple. Number one, make sure that you always yield to the person who's already in the roundabout and then number two, as you approach the roundabout, if you have a lane choice, just get in the proper lane marked for your turn."

The town will hold two meetings for those interested to attend. The first is this Friday at 6 p.m. and the next one is scheduled for Feb. 24 at 10 a.m.

Michael Crews owns Hot Wax Surf Shop, which is just off where the new roundabout is located. The detour due to construction has affected his business this fall and winter. He said he's ready for it to open.

"For us, its great because the new roundabout comes really close to our sign and gives us more visibility," Crews said. "The infrastructure here with new sidewalks and walkways across the street to the new public (area), which is a beautiful facility, is really going to be nice."

Officials said likely the biggest test will come once tourists arrive and begin using the new roundabout in the spring and summer.

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