NORTH RIDGEVILLE — The city may swap two more traditional intersections for roundabouts as early as 2020, pending design, cost and City Council approval.
Mayor David Gillock said the city is looking at putting roundabouts at the intersections of Lear-Nagle and Mills roads, and Chestnut Ridge Road and alternate state Route 83.
“We just (reviewed) our intersections and what people suggested and what kind of made sense for where we wouldn’t have to do a lot of land acquisition but could make an improvement,” Gillock said.
The city asked American Structurepoint, the firm that designed the roundabout at state Route 83 and Mills Road, to give engineering proposals for the projects. Engineering — including project design, cost estimates and construction management — for a roundabout at alternate 83 and Chestnut Ridge Road would cost $138,465. Engineering for the project at Lear-Nagle and Mills Roads would be $152,880.
Gillock said both projects would have other associated costs, such as land acquisition and environmental or public involvement. Requests for funding will go before City Council later this year. Gillock said the soonest the city could have a cost estimate for the projects would be early 2019, with engineering happening that year. The earliest either roundabout could be built is in 2020.
“The first thing we’d have to do is in our appropriation process in November we’d present to Council,” he said. “That’s where we would present something to Council to see if we could fund it. The one at Mills, which we’re discussing with Avon, we’d probably apply for a grant and split the remainder like we did at 83 and Mills. Chestnut would be all on us to do. So we’ll make a decision in November.”
The roundabouts would be single-lane, similar to the one at the edge of Avon and North Ridgeville. That project, totaling $1.2 million, was funded in part by a grant from the Ohio Public Works Commission for nearly $700,000, with North Ridgeville and Avon splitting the remaining expense — paying about $250,000 each.
Neither proposed intersection is on a truck route — the truck route from state Route 10 near alternate 83 requires traffic to go south on alternate 83 to Butternut Ridge Road.
Gillock said roundabouts are different sizes, depending on traffic flow, which will figure into how much land the city would have to buy at either intersection. He said the city does own land on the north side of Chestnut Ridge Road and alternate 83, with state right of ways on the south side, but a street like Lear-Nagle Road has smaller rights of way, meaning the final determination for each intersection would come from the engineering drawings.
“These projects take time, and this is just to draw the plans, this is not to build them,” he said. “First thing you’ve got to do is enter into a contract and (look at issues) — are there wetlands, are you going to have to acquire property, (are there) storm sewers or sanitary sewers. ... All of those are part of it to design, to come up with an estimated cost.”
And while the intersection at Chestnut Ridge Road and alternate 83 is currently a T-junction, Gillock said the city has long-range plans to extend Alternate 83 out to Sugar Ridge Road. If the roundabout was built, it would be a three-way out circle, with a stub at the northern end to add the connecting road at a later date, he said.
He said the proposals would have at least one public meeting, just like the city did with its first roundabout, and the item would come up at City Council and Planning Commission meetings, and could be referred to the Streets, Sidewalks and Bridges Committee, giving residents plenty of chances to weigh in on the issue.
The city’s current roundabout has been a success, Gillock said, with anecdotal evidence showing slowing traffic has reduced crashes — although some drivers are still getting used to the intersection a year later.
“All traffic keeps moving, there’s no stop signs,” Gillock said. “Semis stop, and then they finally realized that the middle apron is designed to be driven on, they will be careful and don’t want to get hit. … We don’t have any backups, don’t have any accidents, so it’s working great.”