The first of three new roundabouts in Bloomington is open to vehicles but the roundabout at Sare and Rogers Road it is not open to pedestrians yet.
The roundabout opened to cars Saturday night, four days ahead of schedule. The intersection had been closed since the end of May. The project cost nearly $2.5 million with 60 percent of that money coming from the federal government and local funding making up the other 40 percent.
But not everyone is pleased with the new intersection. City council member Steve Volan voted against the project last year and remains against it after seeing it. He says some councilors wanted to withhold the money for projects until smaller designs could be completed.
“Just from a cost perspective, it’s about twice as big as it needs to be. We could have built it for half the price and moved the traffic we needed to move.”
However, Public works director Susie Johnson says the size is appropriate not just for existing traffic, but for what Bloomington is projected to need down the road.
“Because the roundabout was paid for with federal funds, we always have to design for a 20 year time frame,” she says. “So this roundabout is designed with the anticipation of growth in the area for up to 20 years.”
Greenery in the center of the roundabout is still being planted and construction continues on pedestrian islands.
Construction for a roundabout at Arlington Road and 17th street on the city’s northwest side is scheduled to begin in 2013. A third, at Tapp and Rockport roads on the south side, is slated for 2016.