GREENFIELD — Greenfield’s fifth roundabout could be built late this year, with plans for a sixth also under way.
The Greenfield Board of Works Tuesday approved plans for a roundabout to be built at New Road and Apple Street. City engineer Mike Fruth said he is also working on plans for a roundabout at New Road and Franklin Street. Whether it will be built this year is in question.
Because 80 percent of the New Road and Apple Street roundabout will be built with a federal grant, Fruth said approval had to come this week in order to send the plans to the Indiana Department of Transportation so a bid-letting date can be set. Bids will likely be received in July or August, and construction may begin in the fall.
But just how long construction will take is in flux, because one section of the intersection will have to remain open. Apple Street becomes Hickory Boulevard north of New Road, and it’s the only road that allows residents into the Hickory Hills subdivision.
“This will not require a total closure of the intersection,” Fruth said. “It will be done in phases, leaving access to that addition at all times.”
Not only will doing the project in phases make for a longer construction period, but Fruth said drainage issues and utility work will make construction more complicated than other recent roundabouts. A new concrete box will be placed under the roundabout to assist with drainage of a ditch on the north side of New Road.
While other roundabouts built recently in Greenfield have been completed in two months, Fruth guesses the construction period will be two or three times longer.
“Best guess, it’ll be six months as opposed to a two-month project,” he said.
The roundabout is one of six that were placed in the city’s thoroughfare plan several years ago, Fruth said. The first roundabout in Greenfield was built at McKenzie Road and Broadway Street in 2004.
Two roundabouts were completed in 2010, at McKenzie Road and Apple Street, and McKenzie Road and Franklin Street. In 2011, a fourth roundabout was completed at McKenzie and Meridian roads.
Fruth said the roundabout at New Road and Apple Street will help traffic flow on New Road, which has become a main thoroughfare in Greenfield. Many drivers heading east on New Road turn south onto Apple Street, so he said it will assist motorists to make the move often without having to stop.
“I think it’ll make it easier; it’s already a high-volume thoroughfare,” Fruth said.
The roundabout is also being constructed to remedy an awkward intersection alignment. As Apple Street becomes Hickory Boulevard, Hickory is curved slightly to the west. That can make for difficult turns at the intersection, he said.
The construction plans were approved unanimously Tuesday, though only two members of the new Board of Works were present; Kelly McClarnon was absent. While Mayor Dick Pasco wants to make the board a five-member group, that will require a change in the salary ordinance, which will be discussed at tonight’s city council meeting.
Pasco said he’s in favor of constructing roundabouts as long as money remains available.
“It’s going to depend on funding, but if you get a grant, you’re only paying 20 percent; it’s the right thing to do,” he said.
The 20 percent is being funded with tax increment finance district dollars. The money is generated in lieu of property taxes from businesses in the TIF district and is earmarked for projects that will benefit the district.