Double roundabout in North Strabane proposed

August 28, 2013
This double roundabout has been proposed at the intersection of Route 519 and Brownlee Road in North Strabane Township.

The state Department of Transportation is proposing a double roundabout solution to the right-of-way conundrum that has caused a number of fender-benders at the intersection of Route 519 and Brownlee Road in North Strabane Township. Instead of dueling with drivers at stop signs or waiting for a stoplight’s green go-ahead, drivers would need only to yield when entering the roundabout.

These plans for the proposed double roundabout will be displayed from 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. Sept. 12 at the North Strabane Township municipal building. Residents are welcome to attend to voice suggestions for improvements to the project design. There will also be information regarding traffic control and traffic simulations for the roundabouts.

The intersection has been the site of more than a dozen crashes in the last five years. Each roundabout would have two lanes going in each direction, and the two roundabouts would be separated by a 500-foot stretch of road.

“The roundabouts are much more efficient than the current configuration with the stops, and it will improve the level of service to the intersection and reduce traffic queuing in all directions,” said James Sisul, project manager at the PennDOT District 12 office in Uniontown.

A single roundabout would not provide enough capacity for traffic, according to District 12, which includes Washington. Greene, Fayette and Westmoreland counties.

PennDOT is in the process of securing rights of way for the project, which is estimated to cost between $3 million and $5 million.

Sisul said once construction begins there will likely be two detours on Brownlee and Thomas-Eighty Four roads. He said he does not anticipate that 519 will be detoured, but there might be short-term flagging operations during construction.

A connector road, Route 519 currently has a nearly 90-degree-angle turn, and Brownlee and Thomas-Eighty Four roads intersect in such a way that the three roughly form the shape of an X. Route 519 carries about 12,000 vehicles per day. In addition to a path for local traffic, it serves as a Washington bypass between Interstates 70 and 79 and Route 19 north and east of the city.

Sisul hopes there will be a good turnout at the session so that local residents can learn more about roundabouts and “how these are going to function once they’re constructed.”

Emily Petsko joined the Observer-Reporter as a staff writer in June 2013. She graduated from Point Park University with a dual bachelor's degree in journalism and global cultural studies.

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