In the works for close to a decade, the Atoka roundabout project will become a reality next year.
Last week the town announced the $1.3 million project, which is state-funded, had been awarded and construction would begin in the spring 2021.
“We went through two rounds of (Request for Proposals) because it was way over budget and there was no way we could make it happen,” said Marc Woerner, Atoka’s new town administrator. “We made a minor revision to the RFP and re-bid and the proposal that met our funding was from Rose Construction.”
Construction on the project, which was first announced in 2012 to help alleviate the heavy traffic at the Atoka-Idaville and Rosemark Road intersection, is expected to begin in March 2021.
There will be a 90-day closure of the intersection which will begin sometime between the end of March and the beginning of May. The intersection is expected to be reopened by Aug. 1 and the timeline suggests the entire project will be completed by Aug. 24.
Woerner said a detour plan will be announced closer to the closure date.
The decision to install the roundabout, rather than a traffic signal, came because the Tennessee Department of Transportation and the Town of Atoka collaborated on a plan to keep traffic moving, rather than stopping, Woerner said.
“You won’t have to wait on lights, there are less accidents. Once folks who use the Atoka-Idaville – Rosemark Road intersection on a regular basis use the roundabout a few times they’ll appreciate having it instead of a signalized intersection.
Federal Highway Administration studies show roundabouts result in a 90 percent reduction in fatal collisions, 76 percent reduction in injury collisions, 37 percent reduction in overall collisions and a 40 percent reduction in pedestrian collisions.
Once in place, it will be Tipton County’s only modern roundabout.
The historic court square in Covington is a similar traffic concept, with a one-way traffic pattern in which a vehicle does not stop once entered until it is ready to exit.
For many years, the construction of the roundabout has been delayed by right-of-way acquisition and site studies.
For more on the project, see townofatoka.com and “Rosemark Roundabout” under the Town Services tab.
Repairs at Pioneer Park
Another improvement project is in the works in Atoka.
This year, the bank around Pioneer Park’s pond began caving in and efforts to stabilize it recently began.
Weather permitting, Woerner said, it will take 4-5 weeks total.