There will be progress with the roundabout this year.
Or, that’s the plan.
Tetra Tech’s Dave Charville spoke during the Dec. 10, 2019 meeting of the board of mayor and aldermen, telling city officials it could be in as early as September.
First proposed in 2012, the project will convert the often-congested intersection at Atoka-Idaville and Rosemark roads from sign-controlled to a roundabout.
It’s been the subject of ridicule on social media sites, residents often asking about its progress.
The entire project has been at a standstill for years while the state worked on acquiring the right of way and reviewing a report on the presence of endangered Indiana bats in the area.
“I stay on the phone every day with something about the roundabout,” said mayor Darryl Walker.
Why a roundabout?
Though there’s no doubt something needs to be done to help move traffic in the area, especially during the school year, many have scoffed at the idea of a roundabout.
“Roundabouts are safer,” Charville said, reporting data from the Federal Highway Administration shows a decrease in the number of fatal collisions and increased efficiency when an intersection is converted from being sign or signal controlled to a roundabout.
What’s the general design?
In 2015, the town issued a request for qualifications for a design firm to oversee the project.
The roundabout will feature a single lane design with four legs – eastbound and westbound on Atoka-Idaville, southbound on Rosemark and an extension northbound at the Children’s Express Learning Center.
The northbound leg is a new addition to the original design, Charville said.
“We were originally going to do a driveway, but there’s actually an 80-foot platted right-of-way. I think, at some point, Rosemark Road is going to be extended, so we decided to actually extend the fourth leg of the roundabout north.”
There will also be a turning lane on the southbound leg into what will be a Fastimes gas station on the corner.
There will be a lot of lighting as well.
“We want to make sure it is well lit so people can see the cars coming and know when to yield.”
Charville is also proposing the inclusion of crosswalks in the design plan.
The project has passed several key approvals, such as the environmental clearance, and utilities have already been relocated.
The state still needs to approve the constructions plans and the right-of-way certification which means the town acquires the property for the project.
Town attorney Kasey Culbreath said the property owners have all agreed to it, but “we need to put pen to paper.”
Charville said he hopes both of those are completed by March, bids are approved in May and construction will begin in June.
He said the intersection will be closed during construction, which could be completed by September.
“We’re thinking probably 45-60 days.”
How much will it cost?
The cost, in 2012, was an estimated $600,000, Walker said at the meeting last month. The cost rose to $800,000 and then to $1.1 million.
The town is currently $195,000 short, but said grant funding could help make up $139,000 of the gap.
A health department grant has helped fund other projects in the town and may be able to fund the remaining $65,000.
Another presentation is expected to be made at the next meeting on Jan. 14.
The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. in the board room at Town Hall. The public is invited and encouraged to attend.