Carroll roundabout plan scrapped

August 12, 2013
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A view of the initial proposal for a roundabout to improve the Routes 88 and 837 intersection in Carroll Township
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Scott Beveridge/Observer-Reporter
Motorists along Route 88 approach its intersection with Route 837 where PennDOT is proposing to construct a new roundabout. Order a Print

The state Department of Transportation has scrapped a plan to construct a roundabout at a busy intersection in the Mon Valley after it received an overwhelming amount of opposition to the project made public in June.

State Sen. Tim Solobay, D-Canonsburg, said it was announced in a meeting Monday with Carroll Township officials and PennDOT that the department will instead move forward with keeping a traditional intersection at Routes 88 and 837 and adding turning lanes at all approaches.

Solobay said he and state Rep. Peter J. Daley, D-California, have received many phone calls from the public complaining about the roundabout, which would have consumed 40 parking spaces at the Fisher Heights Giant Eagle and threatened to close the business.

“We want to get the word out. The roundabout is gone,” Solobay said.

The project received negative comments from as far away as Hawaii, said Carroll Supervisor Jim Harrison. Engineers across the country who design roundabouts also shot down the design as being too big for the intersection.

“There were a lot of people who were very upset,” Harrison said.

He said PennDOT’s decision to nix the plan “is going to work out well for everybody.”

PennDOT initially announced the roundabout as its preferred alternative for Carroll, as the circular intersections have proven to be safer than traditional ones. The department then decided to re-examine the project after the complaints began to pile up in July.

“The people voiced their opinions. It worked. PennDOT listened,” Solobay said.

PennDOT returned to the design to see if engineers could come up with a solution that would have less of an impact on property and businesses, said Rachel Duda, an assistant PennDOT district engineer for design.

“We came up with something that will work,” Duda said.

PennDOT has yet to complete the drawings for the latest proposal for the intersection or announce the estimated cost of construction.

Solobay said the work is expected to begin in late 2015.

Scott Beveridge is a North Charleroi native who has lived most of his life in nearby Rostraver Township. He is a general assignments reporter focusing on investigative journalism and writing stories about the mid-Mon Valley. He has a bachelor's degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a master's from Duquesne University. Scott spent three weeks in Vietnam in 2004 as a foreign correspondent under an International Center for Journalists fellowship.

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