RIO GRANDE — The intersections of State Routes 325 and 588 may potentially see the construction of a roundabout intersection slated to be constructed in the spring of 2019.
According to Ohio Department of Transportation representatives, the project will cost the state around $733,000. Rio Grande will provide five percent of $370,000 for the construction of sidewalks near the intersection and surrounding roads after being awarded project funding from the transportation alternatives program.
ODOT has studied the intersection and believes the addition of a roundabout would prevent hazardous crashes and provide for safer pedestrian transportation in the intersection.
According to Rio Grande Mayor Matt Easter, backed up traffic in early morning and later afternoon hours can sometimes pose a problem for pedestrians, traffic and area businesses. Village officials were considering ways to install sidewalks into the area.
Village officials met with ODOT officials to discuss the nature of the projects being proposed. ODOT had already considered the building of an intersection the mayor said. The hope was to do one project after another as to avoid having to tear up sidewalks needlessly.
“I’ve talked with city officials from Athens and Logan, places where they have these, and they feel it’s been a positive thing,” said Easter. “It’s weird at first, but we’re hoping these will help avoid some injuries. This is something we’re starting to see be adopted across America.”
ODOT officials say that as the proposed construction dates get closer, open meetings will be held to teach the public how roundabouts work. Meetings are anticipated to be held the winter of 2018.
Roundabouts are considered a type of circular intersection where traffic continues to flow in one direction about a central point. Entering traffic is to yield to traffic already moving in the circle. Such motions are to minimize T-bone crashes as well as head-on collisions. Traffic continually moves in one direction so that pedestrians only have to watch one direction when crossing the road.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.