US-23/Geddes roundabouts nearly complete

Work on the three roundabouts that now make up the interchange at Geddes Road and U.S. 23 is about to come full circle.

Dave Dykman of the city of Ann Arbor's project management unit says the interchange project is about to wrap up, with a target date of October 31 or even earlier. As of last week, the east side of the project was complete except for a final paving, and ramp work was being finalized. Concluding the project will be some final landscaping, paving of asphalt paths, and installment of lights.

The improvements also include some pedestrian walks on a path to the south of the interchange, and a new pedestrian and cyclist bridge that crosses U.S. 23. "We anticipate there will be much more pedestrian and nonmotorized use," Dykman says.

The Geddes Road project employs three roundabouts in place of traffic lights at the on/off-ramps for the exit and the intersection of Geddes and Earhart Road. "The city's very excited about this project," he says. "I think it'll be a definite and vast improvement to traffic flow at that interchange, and we look forward to opening it up."

Roundabouts, a.k.a. traffic circles, are seen as the most cost-effective way to improve flow and relieve congestion at an intersection without expanding it. Modern roundabouts include a central island to guide the vehicular traffic and splitter islands at each leg of an intersection. One-way traffic moves around the central island, where entering traffic must yield to the traffic already in the roundabout. Traffic circles slow and calm traffic, resulting in fewer accidents. They also decrease delays and cut down on the number of idling vehicles, reducing air pollution.

Source: David Dykman, project manager for the city of Ann Arbor
Writer: Kristin Lukowski