Roundabout at Geddes and Ridge: New charter school will pay for construction
Amy Biolchini | AnnArbor.com
In a public meeting hosted at the Superior Township Hall Tuesday night, the road commission’s engineers described to about 12 people the construction timeline slated for this summer.
Both the public and the road commission are hopeful that the project will fix the traffic backups that make the four-way stop congested during morning and afternoon hours when people are traveling to and from a new school that just opened at the intersection: The South Pointe Scholars Charter Academy. The intersection wasn’t originally on the road commission’s list to be upgraded to a roundabout, but the school requested the project and will pay for construction, said Matt MacDonell, senior project manager for the road commission.
The school opened this fall and is opening its classrooms in phases. It houses K-6 and will be adding a grade and more students and grades each year until eighth grade.
Construction of the single-lane roundabout is slated to begin in mid June once school is out of session and is on a tight 60-day schedule for completion.
As a result of the short schedule, the intersection will be completely closed for the work. Access to the school will be maintained from westbound Geddes Road only.
Linda Osgood has lived on a small 11-acre farm at the southwest corner of Geddes and Ridge roads for the past 19 years.
Her home and horse pasture are the closest properties to the new project. Osgood said that while she didn’t like roundabouts at first, after driving through them she came to like them better.
A roundabout will be a good fit for the intersection, Osgood said, remarking that many drivers carelessly don’t stop at the stop sign in the intersection now.
However, Osgood said she takes the roundabout as a sign of increasing new development in the area as the surrounding land that was once primarily agricultural turns residential.
It’s a trend that the road commission is trying to plan for by installing the roundabout, MacDonell said.
There was some concern expressed at the public meeting regarding heavy machinery and dust that would be generated by the project, as well as additional lights that the commission is planning to install at the intersection.
The project’s cost is in the $1 million range and will be put out to bid in February. For the first time, the road commission will be asking for separate bids for asphalt and concrete surfaces to see which is the most cost effective for the project.
The South Pointe Scholars Charter Academy will be paying for the construction of the roundabout, and the road commission will be paying for “shared costs” with the project that include warning signs and notifications to drivers, MacDonell said.
The commission is also planning to replace a culvert just south of the intersection and south of the entrance to the school from Ridge Road, and to repave Geddes Road from Prospect Avenue to the eastern county line.