Roundabout at busy Washington Twp. intersection now open to traffic

WASHINGTON TWP. — Just under four months after construction started to convert a busy Washington Twp. intersection into a roundabout, the roads have officially reopened to traffic Friday.

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The intersection of Mad River and Alex Bell roads is now officially a roundabout, following a $967,000 reconstruction project that started in April.

“We know closing that intersection was inconvenient for many drivers, and we want to thank them for being patient. Roundabouts have many benefits, and we are working to share that information with our residents and educate them on how to drive them,” Paul Gruner, Montgomery County Engineer said in a media release.

Intersections converted to roundabouts typically decrease the number of crashes by 35 percent, injuries by 76 percent, and fatalities by 90 percent, according to the engineer’s office.

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“People here haven’t quite gotten used to them. I’ve been watching some of the online chatter and people say a traffic signal will be less expensive, but that’s not true. It was about 10 to 20 percent more,” Gruner previously told News Center 7.

An engineer’s office spokesperson added the roundabout has environmental benefits, because a constant stream of traffic means less idling of cars and a decrease in emissions and fuel consumption.