The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) will start construction on a roundabout at the intersection of Route 102 and Route 117 in Coventry as part of an intersection safety improvement contract set to get underway this week.
The $4.5 million project, with a construction cost of $2.4 million, is slated for completion in Fall 2018. During construction starting on Monday, alternating traffic patterns and lane shifts will be utilized with minimal impacts to the motoring public within daytime hours.
Roundabouts have proven to be an effective safety measure in reducing the cause and severity of crashes. Over a five-year period from 2011-2015, there were 13 crashes at this intersection, 30 percent of which resulted in injuries. While the current intersection is located in a rural area with a lower frequency of crashes than other intersections in Rhode Island, the higher speeds associated with through traffic on Route 102 increase the potential for higher severity crashes with a greater likelihood for serious injuries. RIDOT estimates the presence of a roundabout would have eliminated 80 percent of the crashes observed at this intersection in the past five years.
The project also includes the installation of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant curb and sidewalk and new LED lighting at Route 102 and Route 117. Advance warning signs with flashers will be installed at three separate intersections to alert motorists of an upcoming intersection, helping to reduce crashes and avoid serious injuries or deaths. They include:
- Route 3 (Nooseneck Hill Road) at Weaver Hill Road in West Greenwich (site of a fatal crash in 2011)
- Route 102 (Victory Highway) at Central Pike in Scituate
- Route 102 (Victory Highway) at Waterman Hill Road/Maple Valley Road in Coventry
Roundabouts are different from old traffic rotaries - including one that was at this location back in the 1970s. Modern roundabouts are smaller and have a sharper angle of entry, which reduces speeds and increases safety. All traffic entering the roundabout yields to traffic already in the circle.
Not including the recent roundabouts installed as part of the Apponaug Circulator project in Warwick, RIDOT has installed seven roundabouts and retrofitted four traffic circles to function more like a roundabout. In the future, RIDOT will be employing roundabouts in intersection reconstruction projects where possible to reduce both congestion and higher severity crashes. More information about roundabouts is available at: www.ridot.net/roundabouts.
The roundabout and related improvements are made possible by RhodeWorks, RIDOT's ongoing commitment to repair structurally deficient bridges and bring Rhode Island's transportation infrastructure into a state of good repair, promote economic development, and create jobs. Learn more at www.ridot.net/RhodeWorks.
All dates are weather-dependent and subject to change. Visit www.ridot.net or follow RIDOTNews on Facebook or Twitter for timely information on construction projects and traffic conditions.