First Van Wert roundabout set to open

·2 min read

Aug. 2—VAN WERT COUNTY — The first roundabout located in Van Wert County is scheduled to open Friday.

The intersection closed on June 1, 2022. Just a little bit of work remains — seeding, mulching, landscaping and pavement marking.

Rob White, District One Capital Programs administrator for the Ohio Department of Transportation commented, "When we first approached this project, it was funded by our safety program. They are for the sole purpose of improving safety. Specifically, we are after reducing fatal and serious injury crashes. We looked at several alternatives. Ultimately the reason the roundabout was chosen is that it is proven to provide more of a fatal and serious injury reduction than any of the other types of intersections we have."

Dan Niese, District One Construction engineer told of the timing of the project. "We set the plans up for a 60-day closure. The whole intent was to minimize the impact to the schools We wanted schools to be out before we closed it (the intersection) and then get everything done. It's a pretty aggressive schedule for this amount of work. There's a lot of work here in a very tight spot. The project overall has been a huge success."

Road restrictions on Mendon Road and U.S. 30 and Boroff Road at U.S. 30 will be removed when the roundabout is opened. U.S. 127 over Hagerman Creek, which was also closed, will open at the same time as the roundabout.

White explained the theory behind roundabouts, "They will slow traffic as cars approaching navigate them, but also when everyone is traveling in the same direction, you don't have that opposing traffic so you virtually eliminate the possibility of high-speed head-on crashes and also everything is now a right turn. When you exit the roundabout it's a right turn which eliminates the left turn. That's where the reduction is. You eliminate head-ons and t-bones, which again are accidents that typically result in either a fatal or serious injury."

Reach Dean Brown at 567-242-0409