ASHLAND — The construction of Ashland’s first roundabout entered its second week recently, and officials say construction is moving along.
Mayor Matt Miller said the $2.2 million roundabout project at the intersection of Cottage Street. U.S. Route 250 and Faultless Drive is “well underway” and that everything, so far, is going as planned.
Ohio Department of Transportation Region 3 public information officer Crystal Neelon had a similar impression of the ongoing construction.
“I think so far everything is going well and they’re on track. I haven’t heard anything different; typically I will get an update when things start to not be on track, and far it has been good,” Neelon said.
Construction on the roundabout actually began in June when crews worked on a slip ramp for the area, but roads were not closed until mid-July when construction on the roundabout itself got underway, Neelon said.
ODOT estimates the roads will reopen around August 10, and the roundabout as a whole will be completed in September. In the meantime, motorists can take a number of detour routes to get around the construction.
$1.8 million of the $2.2 million project came from ODOT, while the city of Ashland was responsible for the rest. The city used an Ohio Public Works grant to pay for its share, so it’s costing the city “zero dollars”, Miller said in February.
Safety concerns led local officials and ODOT to seek a roundabout at the intersection, Neelon said.
“We were seeing a lot of crashes at that intersection. And roundabouts are proven to reduce crashes and reduce injuries of crashes at intersections,” Neelon said.
There were 12 crashes at the intersection from 2014-2017, according to ODOT. Eight of these crashes resulted in injuries.
Another roundabout is currently under construction in neighboring Richland County at the Cook/Illinois and Mansfield-Lucas roads intersection. Construction company Shelly and Sands is building both roundabouts.