Liberty and Zeeb Roundabout Construction Coming Soon
By Doug Marrin, STN Reporter
Construction on western Washtenaw’s newest traffic circle is about to begin.
The Washtenaw County Road Commission (WCRC) announced plans to begin constructing a roundabout at the intersection of Liberty and Zeeb roads in Scio Township. Work is scheduled to start in early July.
The single-lane roundabout was initially slated for June 2021. However, skyrocketing construction expenses caused the WCRC to delay the project until industry prices settled down, and rebidding the work would result in lower costs.
WCRC monitored the intersection for traffic volumes and safety and found a higher traffic volume than what is recommended for the existing design. In addition, the Commission expects traffic volumes to increase at this intersection due to the improvements to Zeeb Road between Pleasant Lake and Ellsworth roads.
WCRC states that a traffic circle “is the ideal solution because a roundabout can move traffic, including tractor-trailers, through an intersection more efficiently and with less congestion than a traditional intersection at lower speeds. Roundabouts are also one of the safest options available, and they are typically more cost-effective than a traditional traffic signal.”
Funding for the roundabout comes from the Michigan Transportation Fund. The MTF is the primary road maintenance funding source for most cities, villages, and counties. The MTF receives its monies from federal funds, state fuel taxes, and vehicle registration fees.
Work on the roundabout is expected to take 6-8 weeks. The intersection of Liberty and Zeeb will be closed to all traffic during construction. WCRC has notified emergency services (police, fire, EMS) and will continue to do so.
WCRC adds, “As local residents know, Liberty Rd, west of the intersection, has a tendency to flood at different times throughout the year, especially in the spring and fall. We are well aware of this issue and will monitor throughout construction. Thanks to a partnership with Scio Township, additional limestone was added to this section of Liberty Rd a few weeks ago to help mitigate this risk.”
If flooding does occur, WCRC will provide emergency access to impacted residents. If heavy rain is in the forecast, WCRC will prepare the construction site for emergency entrance and exit.