You may not like getting the run-around, but the Department of Transportation thinks motorists will like a new roundabout that’s opening on Highway 34 near Ottumwa. D-O-T district engineer Larry Jackson says the roundabout helps re-direct traffic in a circle without making everyone stop to turn.
In this roundabout Jackson says there are three different legs of traffic coming into the roundabout. The people making left turns have to get on the roundabout and go around to make a turn, but others can go on by. Jackson says the roundabout seemed to be the best choice for this intersection.
Jackson says they were restricted on their available right-of-way near the Des Moines River and they also had some environmental concern. Jackson says the other alternative was to install a “T” intersection with turn signals, but they felt the roundabout was better.
Jackson says they did make a few modifications to the shoulder of the roundabout to accommodate trucks. Jackson says the diameter of the circle is big enough for normal size trucks and cars to stay in the circle, while the larger trucks will have their back wheels go up on the truck apron of the roundabout. Jackson says the truck apron is colored red. Jackson says the roundabout should be easy enough to figure out.
Jackson says they believe they have up the appropriate signs to tell drives what to do, although he says with something new there’s always a concern. Two legs of the new roundabout are open for traffic, and the third leg will open on Wednesday (November 8th). Jackson says some cities have used roundabouts, but he doesn’t know of any others on state highways.