How much for a roundabout?

We conceded defeat on the roundabout at Highway 88 and County Road and had planned to remain silent on the issue and let nature take its course.

However, the announcement that the low bid came in at just under $1 million is too much for us to let go without comment.

Let's review the costs of the roundabout by state engineers so far.

On March 4, 2005 the cost of a roundabout was estimated at $301,000, not that different from a $200,000 traffic signal at the intersection.

Earlier this year, on Feb. 10, 2006, engineers revised the price tag on the roundabout to $500,000.

On Friday we reported that when engineers sat down to design the roundabout the cost estimate jumped again to $718,000.

When the state opened the bids, which is how they find out what something actually costs, the price tag ranged from $924,000 to $1.1 million.

To soften the blow, state officials tossed in some curb work in the intersection of highways 395 and 88. We realize the costs will be picked up by federal money, otherwise known as our tax dollars after they've been filtered by the federal bureaucracy.

We wonder how those residents who defended the roundabout would react if they knew what the final bill would be? Were they fans of a roundabout at any cost? Or were they backing the most expedient answer in the hopes that something from the state is better than nothing.

We don't think it's circular logic to wonder what good that extra $700,000 could do for roads elsewhere in Douglas County.


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