Roundabouts one step closer to a reality

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The City of Ottumwa is one step closer to having three new roundabouts built around town following action taken by the Ottumwa City Council Tuesday night.

“As you know the city has been looking at roundabouts for thee intersections,” Ottumwa Mayor Tom Lazio told the KBIZ Dialogue Program on Wednesday. “The neat thing is that with the two mini roundabouts, the department of transportation would cover the entire cost of those. The two intersections have been studied by traffic and public safety. These are competitive grants, there is no guarantee that we’ll get them. If we do, both of the smaller roundabouts will fix a real public safety issue. Roundabouts move traffic and improve safety.”

Mini-roundabouts are planned for the intersections of 2nd and Marion in downtown Ottumwa and Richmond and Ferry on the south side of town. A larger roundabout is planned for the intersection of Ferry and Albia Road.

Lazio says that if all of the funds are approved, the project will be almost entirely paid for through grant funding.

“The big one is a little more expensive. But as Councilman Matt Dalbey pointed out last night, when you include all of the incidentals we can get into that one for about $100,000 [out of the city budget]. Thats on an $800,000 project,” Lazio said.

Lazio added that routine maintenance that will soon be needed on the traffic lights currently installed at Albia and Ferry will cost more than the $100,000 city match for the grants.

He added that the project is still in the planning stages, and that the City Council did not vote to build the roundabouts Tuesday night.

“We simply authorized our public works director to submit the grants to the Department of Transportation. Each one of these stand on their own. The DOT could give us one, two, or all three depending on what they decide,” Lazio added.

If all of the grant funds are approved construction on the roundabouts could begin as early as the fall of 2017.

Photo: Concept renderings of the proposed roundabout at Ferry Street and Albia Road.

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