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Enhanced safety and fuel conservation were cited as advantages offered by a planned traffic roundabout scheduled for construction later this year at a busy Sylvania intersection, representatives of the Lucas County Engineer's Office told Sylvania City Council on Monday night.
Roundabouts also are less expensive to build and maintain than traditional intersections with traffic signals, according to research the engineer's office presented to council.
In development since 2010 as a joint project of the city, the county, and Sylvania Township, construction of the $855,180 roundabout at Brint and King roads is scheduled to begin June, 2014 and close the intersection for about 45 days. Detour routes will be posted.
“There's been a lot of work and effort put into getting to this point. We just received word today that the environmental review process has been approved … we now move onto the next stage of the project,” Kevin Aller, Sylvania's director of public service, told council.
The Brint-King corner has been a growing traffic hub in Sylvania, with both of the city's high schools and Lourdes College contributing to the volume. The intersection currently has multi-way stop signs.
Ron Myers, from the county engineer's office, showed crash data from existing roundabouts demonstrating how crashes have decreased.
“We're following a design theory from the state of New York. They use it to actually facilitate moving traffic, rather than just the traffic calming component,” he said.
Better traffic flow at roundabouts reduces fuel consumption and pollution caused by idling cars lined up at stop signs or signals, the county engineer's report said. Modern roundabouts also are designed to accommodate school buses and emergency vehicles, Mr. Myers said in response to a question from councilman Mike Brown.
The Brint-King roundabout will be similar in design to one built several years ago at Brint and Mitchaw roads, Mr. Myers said.
Councilman Todd Milner said he has overcome initial misgivings about roundabouts, which five years ago did not exist in the Toledo area.
“I was very leery of these," he said. "I use Brint and Mitchaw twice a day going to work and coming back. I can see the cost savings. I can see the gas savings...these, they work very well.”
Slightly more than three quarters of the project's funding will come from a $632,800 federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality grant administered by the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments. The balance will be paid for by the city, the township, the county engineer's office, and an Ohio Public Works Commission grant.
The county engineer's office has scheduled a public hearing about the project today at 2 p.m. in the county commissioners' hearing room at One Government Center in downtown Toledo.
Contact Kelly McLendon at: email@example.com, 419-206-0356, or on Twitter at @MyTownSylvania.