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MDOT plans roundabout at M-52 and Werkner Road

M-52 and Werkner Road, site of the proposed MDOT roundabout.
M-52 and Werkner Road, site of the proposed MDOT roundabout.

The Lima Township Board met on Monday, Feb. 9, and while not in the township, officials were alerted to a new roundabout project planned by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) on M-52.

In FY 2016, MDOT is expected to construct a $1.226 million roundabout at the intersection of M-52 and Werkner Road in Sylvan Township and the Washtenaw Area Transportation Study or WATS, received $1.1 million in safety grant funding to construct the traffic calming device.

For a safety grant to be awarded, officials apply for the funding based on crash and other safety statistics in the area and compete with other projects across the state for the funding.

Other county transportation awards were:

  • $60,000 to Chelsea for a $75,000 resurfacing project on Dexter-Chelsea Road from North Freer west 1,900 feet
  • $244,000 to Chelsea for a $305,000 resurfacing project on Sibley Road from M-52 to West Industrial
  • $8,000 to Washtenaw Area Value Express (WAVE) for $10,000 in computer equipment

Lima Township will hold its annual meeting with the Washtenaw County Road Commission to discuss road projects for 2015 and beyond. The meeting will take place at township hall on March 9 at 5 p.m., before the regularly scheduled Lima Township Board meeting at 7 p.m. Residents are encouraged to attend.

In other business, a Special Land Use application was unanimously approved by the board for Verizon to construct a wireless communications tower off of South Lima Center Road near the corner of Jackson Road.

The board also unanimously authorized the upgrade of the township’s BS and A tax assessor software at a cost of $8,630.

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28 thoughts on “MDOT plans roundabout at M-52 and Werkner Road”

  1. This makes perfect sense. But from what I’ve experienced at the roundabouts in Ann Arbor, this will probably create more accidents for a time as few around here seem to have experience with this kind of intersection and treat it like a 4-way stop. Please consider publishing a ‘how to’ guide when the new intersection opens.

  2. Don’t waste a million bucks on a roundabout. It should not cost that much anyhow.
    There are better places to use that money.
    Most people don’t know the rules for roundabouts. The government should educate them if they want to use them.

  3. That’s the goofiest thing I’ve ever heard. All the trucks that that go through town will tie up the traffic worse than its ever been

  4. Sorry, what a waste of money!!! Honestly, this is going to cause more accidents. Just put in a traffic light!

  5. I didn’t realize the traffic was that bad there. I don’t go that way very often. Personally, I don’t care for roundabouts.

  6. Why can’t we just have a timed traffic light there? It is really only bad in the morning and at evening rush hour. It would cost less and is what mist in this community are used to. I make that turn every single morning as well as my teen. This is going to increase traffic on the side roads like Waterloo and McKinley.

  7. C’mon, folks, 3,000 roundabouts have been installed in the United States since 1990 and the statistics show that roundabouts save time and REDUCE FATALITIES and serious injuries by 90 percent! When a new roundabout is installed the public at first is against it (typically 68 percent) but after gaining experience with it the opinion reverses and most (typically 87 percent) are then in favor. Like it or not, the case is closed, so let’s get used to it. [Source: Wikipedia.]

  8. A roundabout at that spot will be absurd. There are so many trucks that go through there it’s going to cause many more issues that it’s going to solve. It may prevent accidents on one way, but drivers are going to become impatient and frustrated and most likely just cause accidents in a different way. Either that or people will just go around it and cause issues on other roads, especially when weather conditions are bad.

  9. Round-a-bouts are usually constructed at intersections where the speed limit is considerably less than 50 mph with other intersecting roads and streets nearby. Here you have south bound M-52 doing 50 plus having to come to an almost stop. Not really an ideal place. A light would be much better. Or leave it as is.

  10. We did this to ourselves. If so many didn’t speed up at the Amber light there would have been a lot fewer accidents over the years. Although I always figured a roundabout was for a slower area with possibly a bend in the road, not a straight arrow intersection.
    Possibly this will again start the conversation of a truck bypass road for Chelsea. I read about one coming in the mid 70’s but there was too much resistance.
    Anything that slows people down there is a good thing overall. It’s always been one of the scariest places for me thinking about my kids driving.

  11. I hate roundabouts. They only work if everyone understands the process. I’ve been nearly hit a number of times by people who don’t look before they enter. I have also never seen one on a road with a 55 m.p.h. speed limit.

    My guess is they’ll have to lower the speed limit in the approach areas to give drivers time to adjust to a proper entry speed the roundabout safely. I’d rather see a traffic light.

  12. I’ve often wondered why MDOT raised the speed limit to 50 m.p.h. south of the flashing yellow light. Why not after the driver clears the intersection?
    Though roundabouts have a lot of positive aspects, I don’t see one at that angled intersection.

  13. Indeed, that intersection can be treacherous, but I think a traffic light that works during morning and late afternoon (school out time)/early evening rush hour would work best for the speed limits on M-52. Other times it could be a blinking light when there isn’t so much traffic! Can’t say I’ve ever seen a roundabout in a high speed limit area like we have here. Definitely need something and I’d say a traffic light would take care of the problems.

  14. Save the money and just give us a stop light. That’s all we asked for for years and been given everything but. What about all the money just spent to but a turn lane in from M-52 to Werkner?

  15. Just to point out the obvious, if there is a light, traffic would need to come to a stop. Regardless of having a light or a roundabout, traffic speed will be either slowed or stoped, thus creating a safer passage for cars. It sounds like we will just need to get used to using roundabouts and “go with the flow”. At least vehicles won’t be trying to run the lights which is a problem that occurs at other stop lights in town.

  16. This is exactly what is wrong with our government these days. They just over payed an engineer to figure out a 1.226 million dollar poor decision when all that is needed is a stop light way cheaper to install. Wasteful money being spent here if you ask me.

  17. Im wondering if they have considered the truck traffic ? and the hill many come down heading to town. it is very poor spot.

  18. A roundabout here is a horrid idea, a sensored traffic light like they put in at the highschool would be far more appropriate and I think the people in the community would be more amiable to it as well.

  19. I grew up in Massachusetts. I learned to drive correctly around rotaries. The so called”round abouts ” here in Michigan are a hazard. They are not sized correctly for the type of traffic. Werkner Road enters both sides with a down ward slope to meet M 52. 52 comes down as a slope into the intersection . The main problem is people trying to make a left on to South52 from Werkner . The North 52 traffic can not be seen clearly due to the turn lane. Massachusetts has been taking out rotaries and replacing them with light signals. I strongly urge MDOT to consult with other states. I also hope they are prepared for more accidents.

  20. Currently Werkner traffic yields to M52 traffic, which means that Werkner traffic moves more slowly than M52 traffic. All drivers on M52 feel entitled to “drive at the speed limit” and those on Werkner must determine that there is no traffic coming from left or right either by slowing or stopping before crossing or turning.

    The much-discussed stop light would force the M52 traffic to stop on red, even if there were no traffic on Werkner, unless the red light were surpressed except when there were cars at the intersection on Werkner. The introduction of that irregular variable tends to increase the uncertainty on a higher speed highway regarding who has the right of way, and whether red really means stop and green really means go, and therefore the number of drivers who crash when they get it wrong. Want to bet how many cars or trucks will shoot through that stop light on M52 after having had to sit there previously through a red light with little or no cross traffic?

    A roundabout is less of an impediment to the free movement of traffic than a four-way stop sign or a stop light. It’s a four-way “LOOK AT THE OTHER TRAFFIC!” If there is nothing crossing your path from the left, you can and should move smoothly into and around the circle. As long as you are in the circle, YOU HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY AND CAN MOVE THOUGH FASTER THAN YOU COULD AT A STOP SIGN OR A STOP LIGHT. If you are on M52, you will of necessity be moving more slowly than before through the circle, even if there is no other traffic in the circle. THAT’S WHAT HELPS CUT DOWN ON THE CATASTROPHIC COLLISIONS AT THE INTERSECTION. If you are on Werkner, you will have full equality with the M52 traffic, with priority going to the vehicles, large or small, that are ALREADY IN THE CIRCLE.

    And big trucks fit on big roundabouts, if they are properly designed with adequately spaced lanes. They just have to SLOW DOWN. Go look at the roundabout at State and Elsworth in Ann Arbor at morning or afternoon rush hour. Perhaps you remember the long waiting lines there were at the old stop light? They are gone. So are the bad accidents. Those still happen down the block at the stop lights. The movement of even heavy traffic is substantially continuous.

  21. In the long run a roundabout will probably end up better. Look at how much traffic has backed up on South 52 in Chelsea with the installation of the red light at the railroad tracks during morning rush. At least with a roundabout the traffic is for the most part constantly moving.

  22. For that much money, maybe it’ll be a 40mph roundabout. Ha! Seriously, the speed limit should just be lowered to around 40 there, with some rumble strips and other cross traffic warnings.

  23. Maybe it is time then for that Fish and Chip Shoppe I have been planning. Nothing like a roundabout to attract the British!

  24. Roundabouts are annoying. As a driver I don’t particularly enjoy them because they force me to slow down and pay close attention to all the drivers around me. But I’m pretty sure the roundabout is not being put in to enhance my driving pleasure, and consider this: If just one accident that would have been a fatality is instead a close call or a low-speed fender-bender, is that worth $1 million to you? It is to someone.

  25. I feel something needs to be done at this intersection due to safety concerns. A stop light is a good idea but will not completely solve the problem, as rush hour traffic at morning and evening will result in back ups on Werkner road. Also severe crashes will not be eliminated due to people running yellow and red lights and not seeing oncoming traffic. Roundabouts are proven to reduce crashes and fatalities where they are installed. They also maintain constant flow of traffic which would reduce backups on Werkner road during heavy traffic times. All in all I believe this is a very safe improvement to this intersection, it will reduce crashes and potentially save lives!
    As far as the 55mph speed limit coming into and out of the intersection, I believe MDOT should look into reducing the speed to 45mph north of Werkner road. However, a roundabout was recently installed in Mesick on M-115 on the edge of town and speed limits are still 55mph prior to the roundabout. This roundabout still works very well to maintain traffic flow and allow for safe turn movements from the side road. This intersection also has a large amount of semi truck traffic and can be very busy at times.
    Like I said previously something needs to be done to improve this intersection and safety concerns. I believe the proper fix for this intersectuon to reduce crashes and make it as safe as possible would be to install a roundabout. I also agree with Amy that if a roundabout is to save one life then isn’t it worth 1.2 million?! It would be worth it to me if it was one of my many family members who travel that intersection everyday.

  26. A roundabout is a horrible solution to the traffic problem I hate them and avoid them whenever possible and to have one between my home and town is just not acceptable to me. If that occurs I will need to consider moving to town. A timed stop light would be so much better and much cheaper. What a waste of over a million dollars.
    Jan Longworth

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