OWENSBORO, Ky. (8/22/13) – A contractor for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) has started making changes to a roundabout being constructed at the Ky. Hwy. 81 and Ky. Hwy. 56 intersection at the west edge of Owensboro.
The changes are the result of the Cabinet’s review of the design after farmers expressed concern that the roundabout’s interior curbing posed an impediment to heavy farm equipment that may have to travel through it.
“The Cabinet has completed arrangements for the design changes,” said Kevin McClearn, Chief District Engineer for KYTC District 2, Madisonville. “Work has now started to remove all of the interior curbing so it can be replaced by a different curb designed to be more farm-tire friendly while still keeping the delineation. The new curb will help smooth the transition for any vehicle that may need to use it for extra space, such as heavy farm equipment that may move through the roundabout.”
McClearn noted that, had the work been farther along, the changes would have been much more expensive. He put the cost of changes requested by the farmers at about 10 percent of the original $1.4 million construction cost.
Roundabouts are designed with interior curbing that allows larger vehicles to ride up on the interior median ring to provide additional turning space. Farmers were concerned the curbing would damage the tires of grain harvesting equipment and tractors moving through the new intersection. The curbing changes started this week address those concerns.
“We checked with other state highway agencies that have constructed roundabouts where farm equipment travels on a regular basis. We did not get any reports of issues on roundabouts with similar curb designs. However, we chose to make some adjustments to accommodate concerns that were expressed,” McClearn said.
The roundabout project is still on track for completion by the end of this year, he said. Work zone traffic at the site continues to be routed through a temporary T intersection.
Information provided by Keith Todd
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