5 Augusta intersections could be replaced by roundabouts

A roundabout for the intersection of Laney-Walker Boulevard and Druid Park Avenue could be completed by the end of 2014.

Five intersections in Augusta could be getting circuitous rerouting called roundabouts.

City traffic engineer Steve Cassell said roundabouts are being considered for the intersections at Laney-Walker Boulevard and Druid Park Avenue; Wheeler and Aumond roads; Boy Scout and Skinner Mill roads; North Leg at Milledgeville Road; and Monte Sano at Central avenues.

The city’s only roundabout is at the intersection of Pleasant Home Road, Scott Nixon Memorial Drive and Mason McKnight Jr. Parkway. It was completed about five years ago, Cassell said.

A roundabout is a circulatory roadway around a central island where all traffic flows counterclockwise. Traffic entering a roundabout yields the right-of-way to traffic already in the roundabout.

A roundabout at Laney-Walker Boulevard and Druid Park Avenue near Paine College could be completed by the end of 2014, Cassell said. Reconstructing the intersection would add aesthetic appeal and improve pedestrian safety at the wide intersection with heavy foot traffic, he said.

“We envision a single lane roundabout,” he said.

Improvements costing $3.5 million for Druid Park between Walton Way and Wrightsboro Road will be funded from the special 1 percent transportation tax. According to the project description, the road will be resurfaced and the curb, gutter, sidewalks and storm sewer system will be reconstructed.

Cassell said bike lanes could also be added to the road, which is bordered by Paine College facilities on both sides.

Roundabouts help improve traffic flow at four-way stops and are alternatives to traffic signals, Cassell said. They also reduce the risk of right-angle car collisions. Cassell said the possible roundabouts would be 120 feet in diameter.

“Once you drive through it once or twice, you’ll get used to it pretty quickly,” he said.

Public meetings on potential roundabouts will be scheduled soon, possibly for July and August, Cassell said.

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