Roundabouts are becoming a popular alternative to traffic lights at intersections, and plans are underway to install one at a wide four-way stop in a neighborhood northeast of downtown Xenia.
The city of Xenia and the Ohio Department of Transportation are working on the final details of the plan for a roundabout to be installed at North Columbus (U.S. 42) and East Church streets.
The estimated cost of the project is $1.1 million, according to the city.
Xenia has received a federal grant of $837,614 from federal gas tax revenue through the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission. The grant would cover 75 percent of the project’s costs, and the city would pay $279,205 to cover the rest, according to Xenia spokesman Lee Warren.
“The project is not to commence until mid-summer 2019 with completion nearly a year later in summer 2020,” Warren said.
ODOT District 8 spokesman Brian Cunningham said details are still being worked out on the final design, including acquiring right-of-way permits. Cunningham said the city has hired a design consultant, and ODOT will be responsible for the construction contract, project manager and inspectors.
Cunningham said “the two predominant factors” that are considered in whether to build a roundabout are reducing high-crash rates or alleviating congestion.
“We are seeing more of them because they do help traffic efficiency as well as safety,” he said. “They virtually eliminate angle crashes at intersections. We are seeing more and more of them because they work.”
Recent roundabouts installed in the area include two in Warren County at Township Line Road and Old State Route 122 and at Socialville Foster Road and Innovation Way Duke Boulevard near Kings Island.
Near Xenia in Beavercreek, three roundabouts have been installed — two on Park Overlook Drive and one on Idea Center Boulevard and Product Way.
Warren noted roundabouts are either present or being considered in “a growing number of Miami Valley communities including Troy, Urbana and Fairborn.”
He said in addition to improving safety, roundabouts “create attractive visual gateway entries to areas and neighborhoods.”
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“The addition of a roundabout at Columbus and Church Streets in Xenia will ultimately reduce confusion and congestion at one of the more difficult navigational and heavily traveled intersections in the city,” he said, “all while bringing new landscaping and design to an area that (has) been long overdue for streetscape investment and improvement.”