11 and counting: another roundabout planned, this one at Geddes and Ridge roads
Whether you like them or loathe them, roundabouts are fast becoming a fact of driving life throughout Washtenaw County.
A new roundabout at Geddes and Ridge roads in Superior Township would mark the 11th project of this type in the county. The 10th is planned for State and Ellsworth roads in Pittsfield Township, and both are part of 2013 road improvements for nearby construction projects.
The new roundabout at Geddes and Ridge roads is planned in conjunction with the construction of South Pointe Scholars Charter Academy, and would become the fourth one on Geddes Road.
The roundabout at State Road and Ellsworth Road is part of planned road improvements for the new Costco store, and an informational meeting to lay out the project drew more than 250 people to the PittsfieldTownship Hall last month.
Roundabouts are favored by highway engineers and the Washtenaw County Road Commission as safety measures. Officials say they move the flow of traffic through areas better than stop lights, but still force people to slow down. However, they can be confusing for people who are not used to navigating them.
“This (Superior Township) project has the full support of the township,” said Doug Fuller, road commission board chairman.
Currently, there are nine roundabouts in Washtenaw County, according to the Road Commission, and here's the list:
- Geddes and Superior in Superior Township
- Whittaker and Stony Creek in Ypsilanti Township
- Huron Parkway and Nixon in Ann Arbor
- Campus Parkway and Community Drive in Pittsfield Township at Harvest Elementary School
- Campus Parkway and Sunset in Pittsfield Township at Saline High School
- M-14 and Maple / Maple @ Skyline H.S. in Scio and Ann Arbor townships
- US-23 and Geddes in Ann Arbor Township
- Geddes and Earhart in Ann Arbor
- East Ann Street and Observatory in Ann Arbor
The charter school intersection improvements are planned in connection with the spring and summer construction of the charter school and all costs of the right of way acquisition, the roundabout and other road improvements will be paid for by the school.
Road Commissioner Ken Schwartz said “in that area, there a lot of people who feel there is need for another school.”
Roy Townsend, managing director of the Road Commission, said that although the school will be constructed this spring and summer, the roundabout isn't planned until 2013.
Geddes Road east of Ridge Road will be widened, milled and paved, according to the agreement. Also planned are a westbound center left-turn lane and an auxiliary eastbound right-turn lane for traffic accessing the school’s Geddes Road commercial driveway, according to the contract.
Additionally, there will be a 10-foot shared pathway on the south side of Geddes Road from the west project limits to the school’s property line.
The Washtenaw County Road Commission Tuesday afternoon unanimously approved the contract with Charter Development Company.
isa Allmendinger is a regional reporter for AnnArbor.com, who also covers the Washtenaw County Road Commission. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.