Work to transform the intersection of Colebrook and Rocherty roads in North Cornwall Township into a roundabout began this week, a PennDOT spokesman announced.
Construction of the $3.4 million project on Route 241 was scheduled to begin Monday, June 28, Dave Thompson, district press officer for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Engineering District 8, said Thursday in a press release.
Workers were expected to set up temporary traffic signals at the intersection to create three-way traffic control before construction begins, he said in the release. A LebTown visit Monday evening confirmed construction had begun as planned.
“The temporary signals will be in place for up to 105 days for this phase of the project,” Thompson said. “Motorists should be alert when approaching the intersection.”
An earlier phase of the project – the realignment of an S-curve on Route 241 between Creekside Drive and Mill Road – was completed in May.
Work is expected to be completed by Oct. 29. Pennsy Supply Inc. of Harrisburg is the prime contractor on the $3,410,676 project.
Thompson told LebTown this will be Lebanon County’s second roundabout.
The first, he said, opened in 2011 on Route 117 at North Side Drive in South Londonderry Township.
Thompson noted that roundabouts “do seem to face a lot of resistance when they’re proposed prior to being built.” However, he added, “I think that, once folks get used to them, most are generally okay with them. From my personal standpoint, I like the fact that they’re safer and allow traffic to flow much more efficiently through an intersection.”
According to traffic studies, roundabouts “offer improved safety over other types of intersections, primarily because roundabouts have fewer conflict points, slower speeds and easier decision-making,” Thompson told LebTown.
Last Sept., PennDOT released data for 22 roundabouts on state routes, where intersections were previously stop- or signal-controlled and had been converted to roundabouts at least three years prior to the study.
Data shows that fatalities dropped by 100 percent, suspected serious injuries were reduced by 77 percent and suspected minor injuries were reduced by 57 percent, Thompson said. Additional injuries, severity unknown, dropped by 82 percent.
Further, Thompson said, the total number of crashes dropped by 21 percent on roundabouts, and about a fifth of those accidents caused property damage only.
“In addition to improved safety, roundabouts typically carry about 30 percent more vehicles than similarly-sized signalized intersections during peak traffic conditions,” Thompson added. “During off-peak conditions, roundabouts cause almost no delay, unlike traffic signals, which can cause delay to side street and traffic turning left from the major street.”
“The increased capacity and efficiency of roundabouts [are] due to the generally continuous slow-flowing nature of entering vehicles yielding to circulating vehicles, rather than waiting for a signal to turn green,” Thompson said.
No additional roundabouts are currently being planned for construction, Thompson said.
Motorists can check roadway conditions online at 511PA.com or the 511PA smartphone app. 511PA is a free service that provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 1,000 traffic cameras.
Information about infrastructure in District 8, including completed work and significant projects, is available at penndot.gov/D8Results. Find PennDOT’s planned and active construction projects at projects.penndot.gov.
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