City of Ames, Iowa Plans First Roundabouts

A summer construction project will bring a new traffic feature to Ames with the addition of three roundabouts to University Boulevard south of Airport Road.
 
The planned design improvements are related to the Iowa State University Research Park expansion and include widening and paving University south of Airport Road.
 
The project includes constructing a two-lane roundabout at the intersection of University Boulevard and Airport Road, said Eric Cowles, a civil engineer with the city’s public works department.
 
There also will be a single-lane roundabout just south of the Workiva building and a single-lane roundabout on the south end of the research park, Cowles said.
 
The third roundabout will tie into a street paving that will lead over to the new economic development hub building that is currently under construction in the research park, Cowles said.
 
Cowles said the city decided to add roundabouts to the road to help with traffic efficiency in the area.
 
“They move traffic very efficiently, and with the projected growth within the Research Park, the feel is that this will help to get people in and out in a very efficient and effective manner,” he said.
 
The city has contracted with Shive-Hattery Architecture &Engineering for the project. Representatives from Shive-Hattery and the city are holding an informational meeting Thursday for residents to learn about the project and ask questions.
 
The meeting will be an open house format with no formal presentation.
 
“We’re just going to show our overall, general layout for the project and ask for any input as far as impacts and things to residents as we move forward toward our final design,” Cowles said.
 
Cowles said they will also be providing some instructional materials on navigating through roundabouts, since they are a new traffic feature in Ames.
 
Cowles said the project also involves extending water mains and sewer lines to service the area. He said the utilities portion will likely go out for bids in late February or March, and the roadway portion will bid in April.
 
The water and sewage line portion of the project will cost about $2.6 million, and the roadway portion is a little more than $5 million, Cowles said. About $4 million of the roadway project will be covered by a Revitalizing Iowa’s Sound Economy (RISE) Grant.
 
Construction will begin this spring or summer, and “we’re anticipating completion in the fall of 2015,” Cowles said.
 
“Our intent is to maintain traffic during construction,” he said.
 
The informational meeting is Thursday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the ISU Research Park, 2711 South Loop Drive, Building #4, Room 4040A.
 
Originally posted on the Ames Tribune: University Boulevard plans include Ames' first roundabouts