It may only be temporary, but work is scheduled to begin today, Wednesday, April 6 on the McHenry Avenue/River Road roundabout, south of Escalon.
Proposed by San Joaquin County Department of Public Works, the goal of the temporary roundabout is to improve the traffic flow in the area.
Pending unfavorable weather conditions, the temporary roundabout will be constructed by San Joaquin County Department of Public Works at the intersection of McHenry Avenue and River Road. Currently, that intersection is controlled by a four-way stop but in a public meeting hosted at the Escalon Community Center in late February, county officials mapped out the project for residents and gathered input regarding the roundabout. Though some in the crowd were not convinced it will reduce the travel and ‘wait’ times experienced, all agreed it was worth trying to see if it could have a favorable impact.
Speaking at the original session, San Joaquin County Public Works Senior Engineer Firoz Vohra said studies have shown motorists can anticipate a significant drop in the ‘delay’ factor in getting through the intersection once the roundabout is in place. Because traffic does not come to a complete stop at a roundabout, Vohra noted, the flow is maintained and a peak time delay of over 50 seconds during morning traffic would be reduced to under 13 seconds.
Officials added that they did engineering studies to ensure the heavy truck traffic along the route would be able to utilize the roundabout, with enough room to make all necessary turns regardless of their direction of travel.
“During the estimated 12-day construction timeframe, the intersection will remain open to all traffic, with delays through the work zone,” Vohra explained in a notice from the county announcing the start of the project. “The roundabout will replace the current four-way stop and is a temporary solution to reduce traffic delays at this intersection until the construction of a traffic signal, which is anticipated to begin in the summer of 2017.”
The only planned full closure at the site is scheduled to occur on Saturday, April 16, from approximately 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. to finalize the striping in the intersection.
For more information about roundabouts or if you have questions, visit the San Joaquin County Department of Public Works website at www.sjgov.org/pubworks/.