Roundabout considered for key Fairborn intersection

About 13,000 vehicles use intersection daily, and growth is expected.

Construction of the roundabout would not occur any earlier than the second half of 2018, but initial steps have been made by the city to upgrade that intersection near Wright State University.

It would be the city’s first roundabout, which is a circular intersection where traffic flows almost continuously in one direction around a central island.

Although other alternatives have been weighed, such as realigning the intersection, installing a single-lane roundabout is the “front-runner,” according to city engineer Don O’Connor. The city still needs to develop a detailed cost estimate for a roundabout, he said.

“It’s still early in the project development,” O’Connor said. “We want to talk to citizens, council, other city employees to make sure it makes sense and it’s something the city wants.”

O’Connor said the city has budgeted $700,000 to upgrade the Kauffman/Colonel Glenn intersection, which has an average daily traffic count of 13,000.

The city received a $336,000 grant from the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission, and those funds will be available the second half of 2018.

The consulting firm Strand Associates Inc. analyzed the intersection for the city in January at no cost and determined that a roundabout would be the most effective design solution.

Currently, a traffic light exists at the intersection. O’Connor said it is not a “high-crash intersection,” but a roundabout would improve safety and make traffic flow more efficient.

“It’d be a big benefit to the community,” O’Connor said. “A roundabout is a statement intersection that people remember. This infrastructure project could help revitalize that area a little bit.”

Fairborn City Manager Deborah McDonnell said the city has an eye toward the future with this project. Recent road improvements to Colonel Glenn and redevelopment along Kauffman are statements that the city is committed to seeing that area grow, she said.

“Let’s build it out now for what’s coming in the future,” McDonnell said. “That includes the latest technologies that keep traffic going.”