Committee Approves Roundabout Signage - The Missourian: Local News

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Committee Approves Roundabout Signage

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Posted: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 9:30 am

A city committee approved the preliminary design of a signage at the Independence Drive and Main Street roundabout.

Community Development Director Joseph Graves said the design combines elements of three designs developed by Union High School students.

Now that officials have agreed to the preliminary design, city staff can look into the cost to build the roundabout signs.

“We have no idea what it will cost at this point,” said City Administrator Russell Rost. “That’s what we have to figure out next.”

Graves noted that he will meet with firms to develop a cost estimate.

“We’re going to be working with an architectural design firm and we will try to retain as many elements as possible of the designs by these high school students,” he said.

There were a total of 30 designs developed by students.

Included in the preliminary design selected by the parks, building, development and public service committee are signs directing traffic to the downtown area, Highway 50, Union High School and the industrial park.

There also is an obelisk in the center comprised of the word “Union.” Graves said it is similar to the obelisk at Forest Park that reads “Zoo.”

Once the cost estimate is complete, the city will determine how the project will be funded. That could include donations from some civic organizations, the Union R-XI School District or others.

History

The city and school district began working toward the roundabout design and signage in July 2012 before the intersection was complete.

Union R-XI Superintendent Steve Bryant met with the city’s parks, building, development and public service committee to propose a plan for UHS students to design the signs.

Bryant offered an example of a Rolla roundabout that features a large sign with fencing and pillars. It includes a welcome message to the Missouri University of Science and Technology.

Landscaping would be maintained by the Union High School FFA and the district’s maintenance department, Bryant added.

Roundabout Debate

There are some residents who have opposed the idea of a roundabout. There are complaints that the intersections are traffic hazards and dangerous at the intersection near UHS where there will be many inexperienced drivers.

There have been letters written to The Missourian by residents against the construction of the roundabout, and complaints were lodged at city hall.

There also had been a handful of comments on the city’s Facebook page that included inaccurate information, and personal attacks. That caused the city to disable the comment section of the site.

At roundabouts, vehicles travel counterclockwise around a raised center island, with entering traffic yielding the right of way to circulating traffic. Once there is a gap in traffic, drivers enter the circle and proceed to their exit. If there is no traffic in the roundabout they enter without yielding.

The traffic light was removed from the intersection to provide a more continuous flow of traffic.

Following the intersection work, the State Street and Independence Drive intersection was permanently closed. There will be a cul-de-sac installed on the west end of State Street.

The Main Street project was funded through the Surface Transportation Program (STP) and is an 80-20 cost-share, including a 20 percent local match and 80 percent federal match.

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