Kent County Road Commission Introduces First Roundabout at 84th Street and Kalamazoo Avenue
The Kent County Road Commission (KCRC) will begin construction of its first major roundabout at the intersection of 84th Street and Kalamazoo Avenue on June 12. This decision follows a comprehensive analysis of traffic patterns, crash history, and projected growth in the area. By implementing a roundabout at this intersection, KCRC aims to enhance its transportation infrastructure while prioritizing safety and efficiency.
“Research consistently demonstrates that roundabouts have a significant, positive impact on road safety. With their ability to reduce intersection collisions, regulate traffic flow, and minimize delays, more communities across the state are embracing roundabouts as a viable and effective solution, where feasible,” said Wayne Harrall, KCRC’s deputy managing director of engineering.
The circular design of the roundabout eliminates the potential for high-speed, high-impact collisions, thereby reducing the severity of crashes. Moreover, the absence of head-on or right-angle crashes, which are common at traditional intersections, further mitigates the risk of severe injuries and fatalities.
Determining the suitability of a roundabout at a specific location involves considering factors beyond just traffic behavior and accident history. These include the availability of right of way, utilities, access management, safety impacts, and existing and projected future traffic volumes.
Although the intersection has operated with a four-way stop and met the requirements for a traffic signal, KCRC's research concluded that constructing a roundabout was a safer solution, meeting all necessary criteria.
In a show of support for this project, the Michigan Department of Transportation awarded KCRC the Federal Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) grant in 2022.
The contractor is Brenner Excavating. For the project's duration, which is expected to be completed by August 11, the intersection of 84th Street and Kalamazoo Avenue will be closed to all traffic. Detour routes will be clearly marked and posted for drivers' convenience.