The state Department of Transportation revealed its plans for a roundabout at the intersection of Ebenezer Road and Rincon-Stillwell Road at an open house.
Construction is expected to start in fiscal year 2018 and could take from 12-18 months, said Troy Pittman, design engineer for GDOT’s District 5.
“These things work great for peak-hour traffic,” he said.
Money has been set aside for the roundabout, which is projected to have a $1.5 million cost. That price tag includes construction, right-of-way acquisition and utility relocation.
“It’s a good bit of money for an intersection improvement,” Pittman said.
The roundabout lanes will be 20 feet wide, and the legs approaching the roundabout from the Highway 275 ends will be about 400 to 500 feet long. The approach from the Rincon-Stillwell Road side will be about 400 to 500 feet long, and from the Old Augusta Road side, which comes off a curve, will be about 700-800 feet.
Pittman said the DOT will have to acquire some land on all four quadrants, but it will be very little impact to the existing property owners.
Tommy Blewitt, who lives not far from the planned roundabout, said his concern was how the roundabout would handle large truck traffic.
“This is a typical roundabout design,” Pittman said. “It will handle semi truck traffic.”
According to the DOT, there were 16 reported accidents, including nine with injuries, at the intersection from 2004-13. Collisions at intersections account for nearly 40 percent of all reported accidents.
With two schools near the intersection, the annual average daily traffic along Ebenezer Road is 880 day, and for Rincon-Stillwell Road the AADT is 2,870. The roundabout will be designed to handle a level of service projected for 2038.
“And it will go well beyond that,” Pittman said.
Pittman said there is initial hesitation and resistance from those who are not used to driving through roundabouts.
“But once we get them in place and people are able to drive around them, they seem to warm up to them and like them,” he said.
The county will be responsible for lighting and maintenance for the roundabout.