Escalon will be getting a roundabout, with San Joaquin County Public Works officials outlining the plan for a sparse crowd Tuesday night, Feb. 23 at the city’s Community Center.
The meeting had originally been planned at City Hall but pre-meeting buzz about the prospect of a roundabout replacing the four-way stop at River Road and McHenry Avenue prompted officials to move it to the larger venue.
Only about two dozen people were on hand, however, and that included representatives from the county public works and City of Escalon officials.
While not specifically tied to the future bridge replacement project over the Stanislaus River that connects San Joaquin County on the north to Stanislaus County on the south, Public Works officials said the roundabout should help with traffic flow in the heavily traveled area. The traffic at peak times is often backed up across the bridge and far up McHenry.
Several attendees were skeptical about the need for and actual efficiency of a roundabout at the location but 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 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.
It could take a couple of months before the roundabout is in place, and county personnel agreed to come back in about six months after the roundabout goes into service to make sure it is working as intended. It can always be taken out, Vohra said, since it will not require any construction and will not change the configuration of the road.
For the full story, look to the March 2 issue of The Times.