Mayor Chris Beutler today announced that the two new roundabouts near Memorial Stadium are scheduled to open to traffic Saturday, August 13. The roundabouts at 10th Street and Salt Creek Roadway are the City's multi-lane roundabouts that will see heavy traffic. They also are the first roadway improvements to be completed as part of the new traffic system for the West Haymarket area. The Mayor encouraged the public to visit the City website, lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: roundabout), to learn more about the roundabouts and how to drive them.
"Roundabouts have a proven track record of improving safety and traffic flow and also have environmental benefits," said Mayor Beutler. "Because multi-lane roundabouts are new to the community, it is important that drivers educate themselves on how they function. The website provides not only written driving instructions but also a simulation of traffic flow at these two roundabouts and a very helpful video produced by the Nebraska Department of Roads."
The construction cost for the 10th and Salt Creek Roadway project including the two roundabouts is $2.9 million. The project was designed by Olsson Associates of Lincoln and the quality assurance and quality control for the roundabouts was handled by Ourston Roundabout Engineering. The project was funded through the West Haymarket Joint Public Agency.
The roundabouts have been designed to handle year 2030 demand of 2,100 to 3,000 trips during the afternoon peak hour. Plans for traffic flow before and after Husker games are being developed and will be posted on the website.
The roundabout at 33rd Street and Sheridan Boulevard was the first of its kind in Nebraska when it opened in June 2002. In the three years following its completion, total crashes at the intersection dropped by 83 percent, with a 95 percent reduction in injury crashes. According to a study by the Institute for Highway Safety of locations where stop signs or traffic lights were replaced by roundabouts, all crashes were reduced by 37 percent and serious crashes fell by 75 percent, including a 90 percent reduction in fatalities.
The City has two other multi-lane roundabouts on N.W. 12th St. and on Amaranth. With the two new roundabouts, the City now has 26 roundabouts, and about five more are planned at locations including:
The State Highway System now includes four roundabouts at Blair, Plattsmouth, Winnebago and Kimball and a fifth is opening near Pleasant Dale this fall. For the first time, information on roundabouts was included in the 2010 Nebraska Driver's Manual.
Roundabout brochures prepared by the Nebraska Department of Roads are available at City recreation centers and libraries.