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Construction on York Road roundabout will begin in 2019

Posted at 5:17 PM, Sep 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-05 19:17:13-04

The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) will reconstruct the intersection of York Road and Lake Helena drive in order to install a roundabout.

Construction of the new roundabout is slated to begin in spring of 2019 with an estimated cost of around $2-3 million.

The new intersection will be a single 12-foot travel lane with two 4-foot shoulders. LED lighting  and a 15 mph speed limit for traffic entering the roundabout will be installed.

MDT determined the intersection would benefit most from a roundabout based on an analysis of statewide crash data.

Project manager Michael Grover, P.E., said the intersection is very similar to Canyon Ferry Road and Lake Helena Drive, and since the completion of the Canyon Ferry Road roundabout, MDT has seen a drastic reduction in crashes at the intersection.

“Originally the Canyon Ferry intersection was the same deal,” said Grover. “We had a high speed through traffic with two low speeds entering with stop signs.”

In the six years prior to the construction of the Canyon Gerry Road roundabout, there were 27 crashes, two fatalities, 20 serious injuries, eight minor injuries, and 14 fender benders.

Six years after the roundabout installation there were nine crashes, zero fatalities, zero serious injuries, zero minor injuries, and nine fender benders.

Grover believes a traffic light or four-way stop wouldn’t reduce crashes like a roundabout does.

“They don’t address the number one cause of these accidents and that’s failure to yield,” said Grover. “They result in a 90 degree crash, which increases the severity of the crash and it increases the chances of fatalities and serious injuries.”

Grover added the new roundabout ultimately is about protecting people and saving lives on the road.

“The reductions in fatalities, major injuries, serious injuries are our biggest concern,” said Grover. “Montana Department of Transportation has a Vision Zero policy, that’s zero deaths and zero injuries on Montana’s highways.”

For more information about the proposed roundabout people are encourage to contact MDT by emailing Brandon@rbci.net or call 406-465-3350.

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