KDOT has plans for 56/77 roundabout

News editor

Kansas Department of Transportation will have a field check Thursday to examine preliminary plans for a roundabout at the intersection of U.S. 56, U.S. 77, and K-150 northeast of Marion.

KDOT engineering manager Jim Brewer said a field check makes sure nothing has changed since the site was surveyed at the beginning of the design phase. It is usually done when plans are about half done.

Most field checks result in minimal changes, if any. After a field check, KDOT can begin working on planning and acquiring right of way. If there are no delays, the project is scheduled for bid-letting in April 2015.

In January 2012, the intersection was rated the most dangerous one in Kansas based on crash frequency and severity data from 2007 to 2009.

Brewer acknowledged that some people are opposed to roundabouts, but he said those people overlook their benefits, which include better safety and reduced travel times and vehicle emissions.

“Roundabouts are like spinach,” he said. “People haven’t tried it, but they know they don’t like it.”

The proposed roundabout would be 200 feet across. The roundabout at the U.S. 50/77 intersection at Florence is 205 feet across. The same engineer is designing the proposed roundabout.

The main roundabout will be large enough for standard and even oversized semi-trucks to use without issue, but the project also will have “shoo-flies,” connecting streets that allow the uncommon loads that are too long for a roundabout to navigate the intersection.

Joe Palic of the Marion KDOT office described the design as a circle inside of a diamond.

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