While the public has mixed views on the roundabout concept, it does seem to keep the flow of traffic moving at our current intersections within the city limits. And, while there may be minor fender benders, the risk of a serious accident is greatly reduced. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, roundabouts reduce accidents by 75% where stop signs were previously used for traffic control.
Roger Krieger confirmed that the city has been able to secure the rights to the land to make a new roundabout at the intersection of Crawford and Colville. In doing so, the city has already removed the large trees that were at the intersection. No homes will be relocated or destroyed for this roundabout. The plan is to extend the renovation further down Colville to 2nd or 3rd Street in conjunction with the new construction, bringing a refreshed roadway and sidewalks to the area. This roundabout should help with the congestion many have voiced concerns about over the years, with the backup of traffic, swerving to avoid collisions, and the collisions themselves.
Mr. Krieger shared that the City of Deer Park has filed for, and is in the running for, a grant for Federal dollars through the Spokane Regional Transportation Council (SRTC), and is currently applying for state dollars through the Transportation Improvement Board (TIB). If the SRTC grant is approved, these dollars will cover 86.50% of the cost of the project. If the TIB fund is also authorized, this will cover the other 13.50%. If either does not come through, the city will be responsible for figuring out the budget for the funding.
Based on deadlines, Mr. Krieger does not expect to receive a decision on the funding from SRTC and TIB until the end of this year. This would, in an ideal situation, allow the design process to begin in the spring or summer of 2019, with the construction to take place in the spring of 2020. Construction on a main route is always difficult, and having the ability to completely close the intersection during the process is ideal; however, nothing has yet been solidified as the timeline is still a couple of years in the future.