OWENSBORO, Ky. (Nov. 29, 2012) – Work on a new roundabout at the intersection of KY 56 and KY 81 in Owensboro is expected to start in January with efforts to move utilities, followed by construction in early spring as weather allows.
The roundabout, targeted to be ready for traffic at the end of 2013, is aimed at improving safety and traffic flow, according to Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 2 Chief Engineer Kevin McClearn.
“This project takes an outdated non-standard intersection and applies a modern traffic solution that I believe will be well received by everyone who travels through it,” McClearn said. “This should improve efficiency and reduce traffic backups common with the present trumpet-style intersection.”
The intersection of KY 81/Calhoun-Owensboro Road and KY 56/West Parrish Avenue handles about 13,000 vehicles a day.
While roundabouts have been widely used across the country, this is only the fifth for a Kentucky highway. The project is being funded through CMAQ, a federal congestion mitigation program that also improves air quality by reducing idling time created by the wait at a traditional signalized intersection.
McClearn says safety benefits provided by a roundabout are equally important.
“Use of a roundabout reduces the number of conflict points from 32 in a traditional intersection down to eight. In addition to reducing the crash rate, the crashes that do occur in a roundabout are generally less severe, becoming sideswipe collisions instead of t-bone collisions,” McClearn noted.
Yager Materials, LLC, of Owensboro is the prime contractor on the $1,435,918 highway improvement project. The anticipated completion date is Dec, 31, 2013.
McClearn noted the project will require traffic to be rerouted around the work zone next summer.
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 2 is responsible for 3,300 miles of roadway in Hancock, Ohio, Muhlenberg, McLean, Daviess, Henderson, Union, Webster, Hopkins, Caldwell, and Christian counties.