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Plans for Hwy. 190 roundabout being finalized
A roundabout traffic circle will be constructed on State Route 190 and Road 284.
The project has been studied, but Caltrans confirms the unique intersection configuration is a go.
“The project has not gone out to bid yet, so there has been no contractor assigned,” said Tammi Conrado, Caltrans information officer for District 6 in an e-mail. The current estimated cost is $1,695,000 and would be funded from monies from the State Highway Operation and Protection Program.
Caltrans project manager Victor Shaw explained that the roundabout will be single-laned and that the project is already moving forward.
“[We are] now a couple of weeks into the design,” said Shaw.
The roundabout, the first on a highway in Tulare County, is at one of the busiest rural intersections. Road 284 carries much of the traffic to Eagle Mountain Casino.
The next step is the right-of-way acquisition in which parcels of land must be acquired. This usually takes 18 months according to Shaw. After that construction will begin in early 2014 and is estimated to take six to seven months with a delay time of five to ten minutes during peak hours.
Shaw pointed out that a roundabout is the best possible solution to the number of accidents which have been reported. Between July 1, 2007 and June 30, 2010, 11 collisions were reported at the intersection, according to Caltrans.
“The roundabout will slow the speed down. Roundabout’s don’t have accelerated high speed T-bone accidents that kill people,” added Shaw.
However, some people are unhappy.
An unidentified person has set up a sign on Highway 190 northbound across from the Tule River Indian Casino Park and Ride which on one side reads: “190 Roundabout here.,..really? Tell Caltrans No,” and then on the other side reads “Oppose Rounadbout,” and then provides the number for Shaw. He has no idea who erected the sign and has received some calls.
“I have no control over what people do on private property,” stated Shaw.
Other people also voiced their concerns.
“There are already enough ignorant drivers who don’t follow the simple rule of waiting until it’s clear to pull onto 190. A roundabout will only confuse people and cause more accidents! Bad idea,” wrote Terra Kurz Patterson on Facebook.
John Keyes was concerned with the logistics.
"How will the big trucks get around this roundabout? ” wrote Keyes on Facebook.
However, others were in support.
“Sounds like a safe way to prevent high speed collisions and it will add a unique landmark to the area,” stated Michael Gray.
Sandy Elizabeth Herrera has used roundabouts before.
“They work great! People tend to slow down way in advance. I say this because here in Washington they have them all over. Look forward to seeing it when I’m home visiting family,” wrote Herrera on Facebook.