TIFFIN — City officials plan to begin work as soon as next year on Tiffin’s first roundabout.
Proposed for the intersection of Highway 6 and Park Road, the roundabout should help accommodate growing traffic in the area tied to a new elementary school in the Clear Creek Amana Community School District.
“It’s a big project at a busy intersection, and it’s an intersection that is going to get busier,” said Tiffin City Administrator Doug Boldt.
What’s more, the roundabout is expected to see increased traffic in the near future when vehicles try to avoid work on the Interstate 80/Interstate 380 interchange, which is expected to ramp up next year.
“This intersection needs to basically be done so when alternate routes come up, if emergencies come up, that we’re not part of the problem, we’re part of the solution,” Boldt said.
The plan is to open bids in January for the a roundabout. The project is expected to cost more than $2 million, but $1 million already has been secured through state and federal grants, Boldt said.
The city plans to build the roundabout to accommodate two lanes of traffic but only use a single-lane roundabout initially. Medians could be removed at a later date to allow two lanes of traffic.
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The project originally was planned to go to bid last month, but Boldt said it was important to make sure all planning and reviewing was complete before opening bids.
The hope is to have the project nearly complete by the end of next year.
Boldt said the Tiffin City Council weighed heavily the pros and cons of a roundabout over a traditional intersection.
Ultimately, the decision was that a roundabout provides the safest option, he said.
“There’s something to be said about bringing traffic to a complete stop and locking down the intersection to allow pedestrians to cross, but that doesn’t prevent the people that are trying to beat the lights or run a read light,” Boldt said. “The traffic is moving slower through the roundabout than it is on a normal pass-through on a light.”
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