Friday, September 21, 2012

Two Roundabouts Go Into Service Sept. 22

Green Meadows West neighbors and other Johnston drivers will get their first opportunities to drive through two of four planned roundabouts on N.W. 62nd Avenue starting Sat., Sept. 22. The major east-west artery runs along the neighborhood's northern boundary.

The city's $7 million road construction project is intended to smooth traffic flow and decrease the severity of accidents along the corridor, which serves activities such as Wallace Elementary, Johnston High School and Middle School, Pioneer Hi-Bred, and the Johnston Fire Department, as well as the Green Meadows West neighborhood. Much of the cost of the project will be paid through state grants. 

The first roundabouts to become operational are most likely those located at the entrance of the Du Pont/Pioneer Hi-Bred main campus and the N.W. 62nd Ave. intersection with Pioneer Parkway. Two other roundabouts remain to be completed, including one into a newly constructed Pioneer Hi-Bred building. The building will be occupied later in 2013. The latter roundabout will incorporate a sidewalk/trail connection into the Green Meadows West neighborhood, but the homeowners' association declined to make a road connection to Foxboro Road.

"The association will be granting a construction easement in the vicinity of Briargate Court for the purposes of extending a bike and walking trail from N.W. 62nd Ave. to Foxboro Road, and likely a permanent easement for the trail itself," says Vice President and Grounds and Property Chairman Jack Sullivan. "We've been working with our Briargate neighbors, Pioneer Hi-Bred, the City of Johnston, and Foth Engineering to ensure that the project maintains privacy and aesthetics as much as possible."

The easement will not allow future construction of a road, Sullivan says. The association plans to help landscape areas that will be bermed up to increase privacy from the trail, as well as potentially light pollution from passing headlights.

According to a recently published construction update, the city anticipates that all work will be done prior to the end of October 2012, barring unforeseen weather, utility, or other delays. The project was originally forecast to be completed by October 2013, but work was conducted ahead of schedule due to mild winter and dry summer conditions.

For a PDF file describing how to walk and drive on roundabouts, click here.

For a Johnston Patch news report on the roundabouts, click here.

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