Roundabout ready in August

After rounds and rounds of public comment, the roundabout at Fifth Street and Edmonds Drive will become a permanent addition to the city by Aug. 12.

Carson City supervisors on Thursday approved a $205,000 contract for the traffic device, which has gained reluctant acceptance from some of its most staunch detractors.

A public meeting Tuesday drew comments from residents from around Carson City, most of whom support roundabout.

Street Operations Manager John Flansberg said the residents presented several good ideas in the meeting which may be incorporated into the roundabout design.

Most of the complaints against the intersection were not specifically about the roundabout but about motorists who fail to follow the rules.

Residents suggested lowering the speed limit from 45 mph on Edmonds Drive and 35 mph on Fifth Street as well as putting some sort of rumble strip on the road to alert drivers.

Flansberg said the city is conducting speed surveys near the roundabout and is taking the ideas for lower speed limits to the Nevada Department of Transportation, which maintains Fifth Street, for comments.

Flansberg said the extra safety measures could be put in with the changes to the roundabout.

Construction on the roundabout will start June 12 and end Aug. 12.

The cost of a permanent roundabout is $205,724, about $85,000 higher than estimated. The price was originally predicted at $120,000 when city transportation officials decided to make it permanent in September 1999.

A stop light for the intersection is estimated to cost $180,000. The intersection will revert to a four-way stop during the roundabout's construction.

The existing roundabout is not a true circle and has a 45-foot diameter from one side to the other and a 65-foot diameter on the longer side.

North/south traffic in the current roundabout has pretty much a straight shot through, which has been one of the major complaints associated with the traffic device.

The new design is a true circle with a 78-foot diameter. Instead of going straight through, north/south traffic will have to come into the circle because the design creates a larger center which throws the north and southbound lanes out of alignment.

The islands separating lanes of traffic coming in and out of the roundabout separating lanes of traffic onto Edmonds and Fifth will also be redesigned to accommodate the wider design.

About 10,000 vehicles traveling north to south and 6,000 traveling east to west use the intersection daily.

The Nevada Department of Transportation built the existing roundabout as an experiment in April 1999 and the city decided to make it permanent in September 1999.

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