Even as College Street in Washington continues to be a source of frustration for drivers, the state’s Department of Transportation could be on the verge of making a section of Route 519 in North Strabane Township that has seen 19 crashes in the last five years a little less hair-raising.
PennDOT is planning to place a “double roundabout” on a portion of the well-traveled road where a sharp curve intersects with both Thomas-Eighty Four and Brownlee roads. The two traffic circles will be adjacent and consist of two lanes. PennDOT had considered installing traffic lights at the intersection, but decided it would create gridlock.
The cost is expected to come in somewhere between $2.5 million and $5 million, with funding coming from both the state and federal governments. The bidding process will start this time next year, and PennDOT is optimistic it will take just one construction season to complete.
Roundabouts are fairly common in other states, such as Massachusetts and Virginia, and, of course, a regular feature of the terrain in Britain and other European countries. But they’re not impossible to find around here – there’s one in Latrobe near St. Vincent College, one in South Park and another in Carmichaels. From all indications, they’ve worked well in those settings, and we hope the “double roundabout” makes for safer journeys for travelers on one of Washington County’s busier byways.