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Ohio’s First Modern Roundabout Opens Near Cleveland

Mon September 25, 2006 - Midwest Edition
Linda J. Hutchinson

The first modern roundabout in the state of Ohio opened Aug. 21 in Garfield Heights.

It is a “part of the on-going project to build the Quigley Road Connector that will link Quigley Road to West 14th Street allowing trucks to move from the interstates directly to the Industrial Flats, avoiding the Tremont Neighborhood,” according to Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) public information spokesperson Michelle Proctor.

The only other roundabout in Ohio is in the city of Dublin.

The roundabout design was chosen for this location “because it will increase capacity and lower delays, calm traffic, improve aesthetics, improve safety, and be able to handle U-turn movements,” said Proctor.

The Quigley Road project is actually two projects: the first is the Quigley Roundabout, which is complete except for landscaping. The second is the Quigley Road Connector which includes a new one-half mile five-lane roadway.

The total cost for the two projects is $6.5 million. Both projects are part of Governor Taft’s 10-year $5 billion Jobs and Progress Plan.

Quigley Road now starts at the roundabout and goes to a new shopping complex, Brickyard Common, in Cleveland.

“This is, by far, the most interesting project I’ve worked on,” said Blaze Construction Inc. Project Manager Bob Rauckhorst. “Time restraints were the toughest obstacle,” which included a 45-day closure of heavily traveled West 14th Street, and involved detours for the exit ramp off SR-71, the entrance ramp onto SR-71, the exit ramp off I-76 (West 14th), and the entrance onto and off of Quigley Road.

“The intense 45-day closure allowed us to tear out a portion of West 14th Street and begin June 15. The last 14 days of the closure allowed for the relocation of the I-71 ramp,” said Rauckhorst.

“A roundabout is a modernized version of the traffic circle and contains several distinct design differences:

• In a modern roundabout, the circle traffic always has the right-of-way and all traffic entering the roundabout must yield;

• Entrances into the modern roundabout are angled to force the motorist to begin a circular movement; and

• Other changes from a traffic circle to a roundabout include changes in pedestrian traffic, improvements to sight distance and good lighting and signage,” according to Proctor.

The Quigley Roundabout is 100 ft. (30.5 m) in diameter and approximately 100 ft. higher in elevation than parking for existing shopping.

There has been “an extreme amount of dirt work,” said Rauckhorst of the Quigley Connector portion of the work. “Unsuitable soils” required them to build a new embankment. Some two-way roads were made into one-way roads to allow the work to continue.

“Work will continue on the Quigley Connector portion of the project through the fall and minimal impacts to traffic are expected. The Quigley extension is expected to open at the end of October,” said Proctor.

“There is still lots of work to do,” said Rauckhorst. “Our contract runs through July 2007.”

Blaze Construction Inc., of Berea, OH, concentrates on road and highway construction in the Cleveland and Cuyahoga County area. They operate a separate commercial construction division. CEG

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