Roundabout: Half-time Update

With a scheduled re-opening date of Thursday August 15th, the project to convert the 4-way “STOP” intersection of Monaville and Cedar Lake Roads in about half-way through the alloted project time. Several of us have been checking out the progress on the weekends and taking a couple of photos along the way.

Let’s see what’s been done so far…

On June 23rd we had the intersection as we knew it… just without the pavement! The ground-up pavement was being held on the still-paved sections as “fill material”.

On June 30th, after scraping-away even more, it was time to start on the new infrastructure. You can see sewer/drain-pipe sections and some cofferdams prestaged along Cedar Lake Road, looking north from the south side of the intersection.

By the next weekend July 6th, most of the underground utility work looked to be about finished.
Just some small-scale installs remaining. We noticed on this visit that some of the utility poles had been replaced, with at least a couple in new positions to help “open up” the intersection.
(Think of the corners of a square moving out to become corners of an octogon!)

View of the same, looking to the south from the NW corner of the intersection.
Actually “corner” is no longer correct because the “rounding” has started to occur.

“Rounding-off the edges” in progress. Looking to the NW corner…

Which brings us to just a few days ago. On Saturday July 13th, all the old ground-up pavement which was presumably being held as “back-fill” material was being scooped-up and hauled away. So as not to get squooshed by earth-moving equipment, we came back on Sunday and took these remaining photos.

Looking north into the center of the intersection. You can see the inital layout-markers for the dividers which will guide all traffic into the counter-clockwise direction. Once they are laid-out, the forms for the curbing can be erected.

Looking south onto Cedar Lake Road from the NW corner. The earthen “fill” for the Roundabout is quite visible, and finally gives the intersection the look we’ve been expecting.

Looking across the Roundabout to the east down Monaville Road from the NW corner. You can see just how closely the roadway eats-in to the property there on the NE corner!

So there you have it!

Would it have been just a little quicker (and much less inconvenient to area drivers and residents) to just install traffic signals at that intersection? Probably. The intersection does get a LOT more traffic now since the WalMart relocated, and too many drivers have shown that they just can’t reliably count to “Four” (the skill needed to safely navigate a 4-way intersection with “STOP” signs).

Do keep in mind though that since Lake County DOT owns those roads for maintenance,  it is making use of this project to incorporate now what would have been road-closing work anyway… including the repaving of Monaville Road between Cedar Lake Road and the railroad tracks.

Oh, a reminder that this will be a SINGLE-lane Roundabout, which is much less of a challenge for drivers new to the concept than the big-city multi-lane traffic circles. As long as LCDOT keeps the “island” mowed to keep the sight-lines open… we’ll do fine with this, and even wonder in a couple of years why we were ever worried about it!

Additional information:
Lake County Roundabouts” [.pdf] – Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning
WTH Is a Roundabout?” – Lake County Division of Transportation

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