Two Roundabouts Planned For Woodbury Drive Expansion
The Woodbury City Council took a detailed look at the plans during a Wednesday workshop session.
The latest plans for Woodbury Drive include roundabouts at the Lake and Bailey roads intersections.
The council during Wednesday night’s workshop often touched on the potential impacts to the surrounding neighborhood and how the roadwork can maintain pedestrian safety in the area.
The nearly $10 million project is slated to begin in the spring of 2013, and transportation officials are working to fit the additional lanes and pedestrian paths on both sides of the road into a narrow right-of-way.
Other items of note from the presentation by City Engineer Klayton Eckles:
- Left- and right-turn lanes at Raleigh Road.
- Two-way stop signs at Antrim Road.
- Retaining walls at several points along the roadway.
- The approaches from both sides of Bailey and Lake roads would be expanded to accommodate the two-lane roundabouts.
Councilman Paul Rebholz asked if planners would consider getting rid of the center median in order to keep the project narrower and reduce the negative impacts to area homeowners.
“You’ve got a whole other lane of median,” he said, adding that he would have liked to see options for keeping the road at two lanes earlier in the process.
The county secured a variance to have the lanes along the two-mile stretch of road reduced from 12 feet to 11, and narrower shoulders are also part of the plans.
“We think we’ve shrunk as much as we can,” said Cory Slagle, the county’s engineering and construction manager.
He said having four lanes will enable traffic to enter County Road 19 more easily, and the highway is at capacity now. Traffic is only expected to grow in the future, and officials said it will soon be as busy as Radio Drive.
Aside from the future of Antrim Road access, the council also talked at length about how pedestrians would cross the road at the roundabouts.
Councilwoman Amy Scoggins said there is a lot of pedestrian traffic in the area and people feel more comfortable crossing with a traffic signal.
There would be crosswalks going from the side of the road to the median about 25 feet back from the roundabout, according to the plans.
Eckles said the primary benefit to crossing at roundabouts versus a light is that people only have to look in one direction at a time.
“There are a lot more conflict points at that signal,” he said.
Councilman Christopher Burns suggested the city and county engage in a public-information campaign once the roundabouts are built.
The speed limit along Woodbury Drive likely will not change with the expanded roadway, officials have said, though City Administrator Clint Gridley noted that there is a logical disconnect by doing speed studies on a road with a set limit.
The state sets speed limits, Slagle said, and uses an “85 percent baseline” to determine them.
Yet Gridley noted that people generally drive the posted speeds, tainting any study about how fast a reasonable motorist drives.