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* News Release *
 
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
For Immediate Release

HAMILTON MASON ROAD ROUNDABOUT CONSTRUCTION BEGINS
Hamilton Mason at Vinnedge Road Intersection Closure Info

Butler County Engineer Greg Wilkens reports that work will begin on the County's second major roundabout beginning next Tuesday, September 2. Crews will start construction of a single lane roundabout at the intersection of Hamilton Mason Road and Vinnedge Road in Fairfield Township. The project also involves realigning Liberty Fairfield Road to intersect with Hamilton Mason at the new roundabout, shifting it away from its current location 500 feet to the east.

"We will greatly improve the situation there by having one safer intersection instead of two that are outdated based on today's traffic patterns," Wilkens said. "Sight distance problems will be eliminated and the roundabout will keep traffic flowing at safer speeds."

A construction contract for the project was awarded to W.G. Stang, LLC of Hamilton which submitted a low bid of $998,752. The BCEO leveraged State OPWC grant money to pay for 46 percent of the construction cost. The remaining local match will come from local BCEO funds. All work is slated for completion by late October 2008, weather permitting. (Update: All work slated for completion by late November 2008.) Associated road closure information can be found below and on the Road Closings page here on the BCEO web site.

A Second Major Roundabout for Butler County

This is the second major roundabout to be installed on the County road system this year. Work is nearing completion on a single lane roundabout at Lakota Drive West and Eagleridge Drive in West Chester Township. While other smaller roundabouts have been built to service retail areas and schools, the two Butler County roundabouts are the first to be installed on major roads.

"We've been researching safe intersection alternatives and felt that it was time to move forward with a proven safe and efficient solution that also has a better long term cost benefit," noted BCEO Traffic Engineer Matt Loeffler. "Roundabouts have commonly been used on the east coast and internationally. We feel that introducing them here at this time is a logical step to improving safety in certain situations. At both locations we have residential streets intersecting with a major through roadway. The roundabout solution is the best alternative to calm traffic at these locations."

Roundabouts Improve Safety

Roundabouts have several advantages over traditional three- and four-way intersections because roundabouts have fewer conflict points, slower speeds, and promote easier decision making. Loeffler points out that the modern day roundabout is vastly different from the older traffic circles and rotaries. "Since rotaries tend to be larger, approach speeds and circular speeds are higher. However, a modern roundabout is smaller causing circular speeds to be lower, around 15-20 MPH," he said. "The modern roundabout also requires all approaching traffic to yield before entering."

Because approaching vehicles must slow down and yield to circulating traffic, a modern roundabout acts as a traffic calming device while maintaining traffic flow, according to Loeffler. "This dramatically reduces the severity of potential crashes. The high speed angle crash at traditional intersections which can result in serious injury or fatality is essentially eliminated at a roundabout. The safety benefits have been well documented, with a 90 percent reduction in fatal crashes, 75 percent reduction in injury crashes, and 30 to 40 percent reduction in pedestrian crashes."

Loeffler also emphasized that modern roundabouts are more pedestrian-friendly since pedestrians only have to cross one lane of traffic at a time and do not have to contend with left and right turning vehicles.

Roundabout Tutor

Some motorists may require a little tutoring on how to use a roundabout, but once familiar with them motorists typically encounter no problems. Loeffler emphasized three key points to keep in mind when approaching a roundabout:

1) Slow down;
2) Yield to traffic already in the circle;
3) Always proceed to the right.

He also stressed that motorists should not stop in the roundabout when encountering an emergency vehicle. It is best to proceed to your exit and then move to the right allowing the emergency vehicle to pass.

The Butler County Engineer's Office has assembled a Guide to Single-Lane Roundabouts which can be easily downloaded for free from our web site. The brochure discusses the benefits offered by modern roundabouts and offers tips for motorists on how to enter and exit a roundabout. Click here for the brochure (PDF file).

Hamilton Mason Road at Vinnedge Road
Intersection Closing and Maintenance of Traffic

All three legs of this intersection will close for a full intersection improvement and roundabout installation beginning Tuesday, September 2, 2008. The intersection is tentatively scheduled to reopen the week of October 6, 2008. (Update: Rescheduled to open the week of November 3, 2008.)

The project also includes re-routing Liberty Fairfield Road to intersect with Hamilton Mason at Vinnedge, tying in with a new roundabout. After the intersection reopens with the new roundabout in place, Liberty Fairfield Road will close north of Hamilton Mason Road for approximately three weeks to tie in the newly re-located section of Liberty Fairfield with the existing road. The current intersection where Liberty Fairfield Road meets Hamilton Mason Road will be eliminated in favor of the new, safer 4-leg roundabout.

Detour: Eastbound Hamilton Mason Road traffic will detour south on Bypass 4, east on Tylersville Road, and north on Ohio 747. Westbound traffic will reverse this route. Northbound Vinnedge Road traffic will detour south on Vinnedge and utilize Tylersville Road east to Ohio 747 or west to Bypass 4.

Additional references:

# # #

For more information contact:

Chris Petrocy, BCEO Public Information Supervisor
Greg Wilkens, P.E., P.S., Butler County Engineer
Phone 513.867.5744 • Fax 513.867.5849


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