City officials expect the Washington Avenue and Independence Drive intersection to be open within the next two weeks.
Jonathan Zimmermann, city engineer, Monday told aldermen that the deadline to complete the roundabout intersection Friday, Aug. 23.
“They should be complete with the roundabout by then,” said Zimmermann. “We will probably keep it closed for the weekend and then open it early Monday.”
Alderman Dustin Bailey asked if the Union R-XI School District was aware of the construction schedule because classes begin Aug. 21.
Zimmermann noted that he has been in contact with district officials.
Once that intersection is completed, a sidewalk from the roundabout to Church Street will be installed.
After that, work will begin to pave all of Independence Drive from Highway 50 to Church Street.
Jokerst Paving and Contracting, Festus, is the contractor for the street work. It is estimated to cost $981,187.
During the closure of the intersection, truck traffic traveling south on Highway A is detoured onto Highway BB to Highway 50, and then east to Independence Drive. Traffic from Highway 47 is detoured to Highway 50, and then west to Independence Drive.
During construction, there were new, larger detour signs erected to redirect truck traffic away from CC Camp Road during the Independence Drive construction.
Zimmermann has said there have been some vehicles driving through the construction site, even while crews are working.
The traffic light at the intersection has alternated between both a flashing four-way lighted intersection and a timed light intersection several times during the past four years.
The light was changed to a four-way stop during only evening and night hours in April 2008, and then later to a four-way stop 24 hours a day.
Some residents have complained that the four-way stop is unsafe and confusing.
City officials have said roundabouts are safer and less costly to maintain than a lighted intersection.
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.
Roundabout intersections are “pedestrian friendly”, officials have said.