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New roundabout hopes to ease future traffic problems

REXBURG, Idaho (KIFI) - The City of Rexburg is planning ahead for its future growth and increased traffic as it builds a roundabout at the intersection of West 7th South and Pioneer Road with the project on schedule to be completed by October 1, 2022.

Keith Davidson, the Public Works Director for the city, says the roundabout was their best option to improve future traffic flow.

"We had a couple of engineering firms look at that area in Retford were experiencing a lot of growth. We have a lot of apartment complexes coming in and that's an area in town where there is a lot of growth potential to happen. And so we looked at that, those two intersects of the intersection there at Pioneer and Seventh, as well as the intersection of the old Yellowstone Highway and seventh and and looking at those two intersection, the one has a signal currently at it, and then we have a railroad crossing," Davidson said. "And then looking at those, the engineering firms that we had, look at it recommended a roundabout to go in instead of another signal that close together because of the potential stack happening from one signal being read and then the other one being green and going across the railroad tracks. And so the recommendation came back to put in a roundabout at that location."

Davidson says the city listened to the recommendation and moved forward with adding the roundabout to the area but also wanted to examine other options that were ultimately nixed as the options were deemed to only add to the problem.

"Keep(ing) the current configuration, which would work for right now, but as the growth occurs, that traffic that would want to get on it at seven south in Pioneer Road, we'd have long delays because of the backup at that signal. And so the other option was to look at it another signal at that location. But because of the proximity with the two signals and the potential of traffic to back up through the old Yellowstone Highway, there on seventh south is what kind of pulled that one out. And they said, well, the roundabout would be your best option. It was the two recommendations from the two engineering firms that we spoke with on that."

Davidson says as the growth continues to happen the city is "always trying to look for what's our safest and the most efficient way to move the traffic through town."

He also says on August 10, the power to the stoplight on the intersection of West 7th South and the old Yellowstone Highway will be turned off.

"Rocky Mount Power is going to do a power outage because they had to move some of their utilities out of the way for us to install that roundabout."

He says that is to update the timing mechanism for the light to allow for less build up in the area of the roundabout.

Part of the project will widen the road by the railroad crossing adding a broken road median in the event of increased traffic or a train going through. However, that section of the project may be a bit delayed.

"The one hiccup we do have is with the railroad when we can get their crews in to to do the railroad crossing portion of that until that might actually end up being next spring is what we're hearing from the railroad company on that."

Article Topic Follows: Rexburg
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Braydon Wilson

Braydon is a reporter for Local News 8 and Eyewitness News 3.

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