FAIRBANKS, Alaska The Department of Transportation says the roundabout will safer for the community.
The Danby, Wembley intersection is getting a major change this year. Alaska's Department of Transportation is converting the four way intersection to a one and a half lane roundabout.
The Danby, Wembley intersection is getting a major change this year. Alaska's Department of Transportation is converting the four way intersection to a one and a half lane roundabout. Project Engineer Charlie Bohart says the reason for this year's work is due to the abnormal number of crashes the intersection has experienced.
"There's approximately twelve thousand cars a day through here which comes to about ten vehicles per minute," said Engineer Charlie Bohart. "By installing a roundabout we will increase safety and we will reduce the severity of the crashes that may occur."
Roundabouts are gaining popularity in the United States. Locals may have noticed the number of this style of intersection is increasing, that's because of the Alaska DOT's new roundabout first policy.
"What that means basically is that any intersection that were improving we need to look at a roundabout and see it's appropriate for the intersection," stated Caitlin Frye. "Roundabouts are the safest at grade intersection that you can build."
The Danby roundabout is going to be bigger than many others around town. With an industrial area nearby, DOT wanted to make sure Semi trucks with trailers could get through the area. In fact, they conducted tests with the big rigs back in 2016, before the project was approved.
In a couple weeks, construction on the roundabout itself will begin. The intersection will remain open from 7 am to 11 pm throughout the project. Starting next week, DOT is planning on switching to night schedules. During that time, portions of Danby road might be closed. The project is scheduled to be completed on October 1st, but the roundabout will be paved before school starts on August 15th.