Eau Claire (WQOW) - Citing 26 crashes in five years, the Wisconsin DOT hopes to renovate an Eau Claire roundabout
The two lane roundabout is located at the intersection of Hwy 53 and Old Town Hall Road. The DOT hopes to make multiple safety enhancements in order to decrease the number of crashes. News 18 spoke with DOT Traffic Safety Sngineer Greg Helgeson, who said based on the volume of cars using the roundabout, 26 crashes in five years is a high rate. He said most of the accidents are not severe and are just southbound cars running off the road during weather conditions of snow, rain and ice.
Helgeson said two issues could be to be blame: one being cars not slowing down enough when entering the roundabout and drivers going too fast for conditions.
In order to address those issues, the DOT hopes to improve pavement friction. they also want to make the roundabout more visible by mounding the center and adding light vegetation. They also want to install new, brighter signs warning drivers of the upcoming roundabout.
Helgeson said the cost is estimated at upwards of $100,000. The DOT hopes 90 percent of it will be paid with federal funds from the Highway Safety Improvement Program. State funding would cover the other 10 percent.
Helgeson said the project would only take just a couple of weeks to finish and would likely start in 2018. The DOT is in the initials steps of this process. The application for safety funding is due on February 15th.