Major Washington Twp. the intersection has had a makeover; construction of the roundabout begins – WHIO TV 7 and WHIO Radio

WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, Ohio — A new roundabout project is about to start in Washington Township and is expected to slow traffic for months.

The construction project begins Monday at the intersection of Mad River Road and Alex Bell Road. The county said the roundabout will improve traffic flow.

There are over 200 roundabouts in the state of Ohio, and more are starting to pop up across the state, attracting attention and controversy.

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“People here haven’t quite got used to it,” said Montgomery County Engineer Paul Bruner. “I’ve been watching some chatter online and people are saying a traffic light will cost less, but that’s not true. It was about 10-20% more.

The roundabout will cost around $960,000. Bruner said the intersection has concerned him since the 1980s.

“In 1981, we were hired to put a traffic light here. There was a group that was very well organized and didn’t want any improvements on Mad River Road,” Bruner said.

However, since then, Bruner said traffic has worsened at the intersection.

“During peak hours, traffic backs up to 1,000 feet in any direction on these roads,” Bruner said. “You will see people having a hard time figuring out who is there right away. People wanted improvement.

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Roundabouts reduce accidents by 35%, injury accidents by 75% and fatalities by 90%.

“They help traffic move more smoothly,” Bruner said. “Most people after trying it a few times, most realize they like it.”

As for traffic over the next few months during construction, Bruner said to avoid the area and find an alternate route.

“We strongly encourage people to take the detours of the post office. We discourage them from using residential streets to get around,” Bruner said.

Although roundabouts can improve safety, it takes some getting used to. That’s why Bruner said it’s important to take your time and always yield to cars already in the roundabout.

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