(WKBN) – Two major roundabout projects in Mahoning County are on schedule to be finished this year.
Work on Interstate 680 and Route 164 is 13 months old, but there are still six months of construction left.
“Currently, they’re working on the southbound ramps and pouring those,” said Justin Chesnic, with the Ohio Department of Transportation. “Later on this summer, they’ll switch to the northbound direction and pour the ramps in that section as well.”
Those ramps will allow people to exit or get onto I-680 at State Route 164 instead of driving up to Western Reserve. It’s an $11 million project.
Channel islands have to be installed at the roundabout and lighting is going up. A park and ride will be built for people who want to carpool.
There’s a big benefit for Beaver Township and beyond.
“This will help reduce that congestion at Western Reserve,” Chesnic said. “That’s really the key benefit here. Then, of course, the roundabout will help traffic flow through there better than a signalized intersection.”
Three miles away, the other roundabout is being installed at Five Points. The same company is building it.
All of the off-road work is being done right now.
“It’s like spaghetti out there,” said Mahoning County Engineer Pat Ginnetti. “There’s gas lines, water lines, sewer lines, cable, electricity — everything is there.”
Five Points gets thousands of cars through it every day. The intersection needed an upgrade and a study determined a roundabout was the best solution.
Once the utilities are relocated, then the road work will begin. That’s still a few weeks away.
“We’re trying to minimize the impact while schools are open,” Ginnetti said. “Once schools close, then we’re going to get into the heavy work in the road itself.”
It’s a county project that’s federally funded and under $2 million.
One challenge is shifting the roundabout to fit. You’ll notice sweeping curves heading toward the circle and that is by design.
“What it’s intended to do is slow cars down as they enter the circle. You’re going to eliminate the potential for a t-bone collision,” Ginnetti said.
It’s a similar design to the roundabout at Mathews and Sheridan roads in Boardman.
The Five Points roundabout should be finished in November.