After two months of construction, Oro Valley has reopened the intersection of North La Cañada Drive and West Moore Road, revealing a new single-lane roundabout.
The contractor, Borderland Construction, was on schedule to re-open the intersection last Friday, Nov. 22, but heavy rain delayed the opening by a few days, according to an Oro Valley press release. Construction crews had to wait until the ground was dry to paint stripes on the new road.
Motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians will now see a two-lane road leading into a circular intersection. The right lane is for people strictly turning right, away from the intersection and onto the perpendicular road. Those cars will only have to yield when a pedestrian is in the crosswalk. The left lane will move around the circle in a single file, so no car is at risk of cutting off another in the process of making their turn.
The intersection was built with sidewalks and the queuing noises of a traffic signal which will help visually-impaired pedestrians know when it’s safe to cross the street.
Town staff have previously stated the intersection—which used to be a four-way stop—had increasing safety concerns. The town’s public works director, Paul Keesler, said roundabouts are generally safer than traffic signals because they decrease vehicle speeds and remove the possibility of T-bone collisions.
The total cost for this project including design and construction was $1.1 million.
While an independent traffic consulting firm and Keesler both recommended a roundabout be installed rather than a traffic light, the Town of Oro Valley sent out a survey a year ago to obtain public opinion on the two choices. Out of the 1,646 people who responded to the survey, there was a near 50/50 split: 820 voted in favor of the roundabout and 764 for the signal.