By Ed Runyan
The intersection of Warren-Sharon and Howland-Wilson roads in Howland, which former Trumbull County Engineer David DeChristofaro imagined as a good location for a roundabout, instead will get more traditional upgrades.
Trumbull County commissioners on Wednesday approved a revised cost of $214,396 for the engineering of the project, which is down $77,228 from earlier estimates of $291,624.
KCI & Associates, formerly known as McCoy & Associates Inc. of Akron, is handling the engineering for the project, which is at the intersection in front of First Baptist Church of Howland.
The federal government is paying 80 percent of the engineering cost, and the county engineer’s office is paying the other 20 percent.
Gary Shaffer, project engineer for county Engineer Randy Smith’s office, said the roundabout is not called for at the intersection because of the amount of land acquisition that would be required and because the amount of traffic using the intersection is not sufficient.
The western-most part of the Warren-Sharon and Howland-Wilson road intersections was improved several years ago and isn’t being considered for a roundabout, either.
The engineering cost dropped when the county engineer’s office decided to eliminate the roundabout concept.
“We’d still like to look at a roundabout,” Shaffer said of finding another location to build one.
Roundabouts are circular vehicle-traffic patterns that eliminate traffic lights and are believed to improve traffic flow.
They’ve been used in various areas of the state, but there are none yet in Trumbull County.
One is planned for the Mathews and Sheridan roads intersection in Boardman, but that will be the first one in Mahoning County.
In February 2010, DeChristofaro suggested the Warren-Sharon and Howland-Wilson intersection for a roundabout and also spoke in favor of the idea for the four intersections on Courthouse Square in Warren.
Instead of a roundabout, the intersection will be widened and new signalization will be installed to work in unison with the traffic light a short distance to the west. Drainage improvements also will be made, Shaffer said.