A public meeting on a long-planned roundabout at Mathews and Sheridan roads will be next Thursday.
The Mahoning County Engineer’s Office is sponsoring the event, which will allow residents to ask offi- cials questions from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. April 19 at Heritage Presbyterian Church, 1951 Mathews Road.
A presentation will begin at 5:20 p.m. to explain the circular traffic pattern that will take the place of the traffic light.
“This is the first roundabout in Mahoning County. When it’s the first one in a region, I like to explain what it is, how it will be constructed and how they operate,” said Rob Donham, a county traffic engineer.
The roundabout will have one lane in the circle and a 100-foot diameter, which forces cars to slow down to about 20 mph, he said.
The first part of design for the $1.1 million project is completed, and construction is set to begin in June 2013. The roundabout is being paid for entirely through the Federal Highway Administration’s Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality program, Donham said.
“We were able to secure 100 percent funding. Because it’s a roundabout and eliminates congestion, it makes you eligible for that funding,” he said.
Donham said initially the county considered a turning lane, but that approach would have cost more money and used more of the right-of-way.
“It would have pushed the street right up residents’ doorways on Mathews Road” if a turn lane were constructed, and the county only would have had access to matching grants from the federal government, he said.
The corridor of Mathews Road from South Avenue to Sheridan Road had 128 accidents from 2003 to 2005, most occurring at South Avenue, according to a traffic study.
From 2005 to 2007, 23 crashes were reported at the Mathews-Sheridan intersection, according to the Eastgate Regional Council of Governments website. Annual crash data are supplied to Eastgate by the Ohio Department of Public Safety.
Boardman Township Trustee Thomas Costello said he was glad the county scheduled a public meeting.
“A lot of residents have expressed interest and concerns about this project,” he said.
Anyone who wants to make a written statement about the project can submit it at the public meeting or send it to the Mahoning County Engineer’s Office via mail, email or fax.