Main Street, Independence Drive Roundabout

A city committee was presented three options for the future Denmark Road and St. Andrews Drive intersection — two of which call for a roundabout.

The personnel, finance and public works committee Monday agreed to hold off on a decision so members could hear input from Alderman Karen Erwin.

Erwin has said residents of the St. Andrews subdivision have spoken out against a roundabout at that intersection. St. Andrews Drive is the only entrance to the subdivision.

Tary Todd, with Cochran, the firm designing the intersection, told members of the personnel, finance and public works committee that there are three options for the intersection.

Those include a “mini” roundabout, a “full-blown” roundabout or median island and a third option with median islands to split traffic.

The intersection improvements are part of the second phase of a Denmark Road widening initiative which is in the 2014-17 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).

The project is slated for construction in 2017.

It includes widening, resurfacing and sidewalk construction from St. Andrews Drive to Grandview Farms Drive. The proposal includes a low-water bridge replacement.


Todd explained that the “mini” would have a fully mountable center that vehicles could drive over.

“It will force most cars into the roundabout motion, but trucks can drive right through it,” he said.

Alderman Paul Arand asked if the roundabout center could be high enough to prevent cars from driving over it, but still allowing for trucks to mount the island.

Todd said the island lip should be no higher than 3 inches in order for trucks to easily drive over it. The two current roundabouts in Union have 2-inch islands.

City Engineer Jonathan Zimmermann added that most of the traffic would be cars and other passenger vehicles.

“We don’t have a lot of that type of truck using the intersection,” he said, “but we have to design for that type of vehicle.”

That intersection would require .07 acre of right of way to be acquired.

“I think it’s a pretty good option for this intersection,” Todd added.

The second option includes median islands on Denmark Road and color crosswalks as an effort to slow traffic at the intersection.

That option would require the purchase of .03 acre of land, and is the cheapest to construct.

The third option is the larger roundabout that would require about .33 acre of right of way.


Todd added that the two roundabouts operate similarly.

There are plans for a 60-bed senior living project at the intersection, and the roundabout intersections could handle traffic for that development, according to Todd.

“The roundabout is much more efficient,” he said. “It can handle a lot more traffic.”

Alderman Bob Schmuke noted that the second option, which includes medians on Denmark Road, would likely require a four-way stop at the intersection.

Union Police Chief Norman Brune added that the roundabout is the safer option.

“If one person does not stop at a four-way stop, there is potential for serious injury,” he said.

Todd noted that Cochran can proceed with other portions of the project while aldermen determine the best option.

Mayor Mike Livengood said that many of the residents in St. Andrews who were opposed to the roundabout have since stated that it may be the best option at that location.