Roundabout work closes Highway 88 | RecordCourier.com

Roundabout work closes Highway 88

Staff Reports

Residents of the Gardnerville Ranchos and Alpine County got a brief respite on Monday before the intersection at Highway 88 and Centerville was closed to build a $1 million roundabout.

The intersection's official closure was announced at 3:30 p.m. Monday.

But the intersection should only be closed through the middle of next week,

State transportation spokeswoman Meg Ragonese said Granite Construction expects to be done with construction work by Memorial Day.

The closure of the 88 and Centerville Lane intersection, will require motorists to use Mottsville Lane and Foothill Road.

Following the full intersection closure, single lane closures will take place weekdays from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., with a pilot car alternating directions of traffic through the intersection, until major construction wraps up directly before the Memorial Day holiday. Travel delays of up to 30 minutes are to be anticipated. Minor finishing elements of construction will take place in future months.

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A compact traffic roundabout will be installed at the intersection of SR 88 and Centerville Lane west of Gardnerville. A smaller version of a modern traffic roundabout, the approximately 80-foot diameter compact roundabout will be slightly smaller in size than the existing SR 88 roundabout at Mahogany Drive. Sloping, raised concrete curbing will make up the roundabout's 22-foot round middle island. Buses and freight and haul trucks will be able to slowly travel over the raised concrete median to travel through the roundabout. Concrete curbing will also be used to define the outside of the roundabout. The roundabout will not feature landscaping in the middle island.

When complete, the posted speed limits on State Route 88 will be reduced to 45 mph approaching the new roundabout, with an advisory speed of 20 mph through the roundabout.

A one-way circular intersection in which traffic flows around a center island without stop signs or signals, the roundabout is being installed to enhance traffic safety. Because traffic enters and exits through right turns only, the occurrence of severe right-angle crashes in roundabouts is substantially less than in many four-way intersections. Roundabouts also have the ability to reduce potentially deadly rear-end crashes which can occur at certain traffic lights. In fact, an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study found that converting 23 specific intersections from traffic signals to roundabouts reduced injury crashes by 80 percent.

In coming years, NDOT will evaluate the potential of purchasing neighboring land to expand the size of the roundabout.