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instead of two that are outdated based on today's traffic patterns,"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.
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.
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 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."
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.
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
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
for the brochure (PDF file).
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