Construction is about halfway completed on a $675,470 roundabout at the intersection of Hardy Road and Northern Avenue in Oro Valley.

During fiscal 2003-'04, Oro Valley undertook extensive studies on the intersection to determine if a four-way stop, traffic signal or roundabout would best work.

"The signalized intersection had a lot bigger of an impact at the location just because of the roadway alignment and how much construction we would have to do to construct the signal," said Cheryl Huelle, a project manager with the town of Oro Valley. The same could have been said for aligning the roads for a four-way stop.

"One of the big reasons we looked at the intersection was to provide a safer intersection," Huelle said.

Prior to the construction, the intersection had Northern Avenue traveling north and changing into Calle Buena Vista. Hardy Road did not directly intersect itself. Commuters wishing to travel east or west on Hardy Road would need to briefly turn onto Northern Avenue. Camino DeAnza, a residential street, also entered onto Northern Avenue.

The five-leg roundabout, which will have all five streets enter and exit the circular formation, is expected to open to traffic by early June. The speed limit through the roundabout will be 15 mph.

"We got some input from the neighbors to make sure that is was something that everyone would be happy with," Huelle said. "One thing that we are being real conscious of is for the roundabout, the bike traffic goes around the roundabout with the vehicular traffic."

To accommodate cars, trucks and bicycles, the driving lane is 16 feet wide with an inner buffer area 10 feet wide so trucks can travel through.

The winning bid for the project was submitted by Eagle Rock Construction. The $675,470 project is funded by the Highway User Revenue Fund. According to the Arizona Department of Transportation website, HURF's revenue is generated by a collection of Arizona fees and charges related to the registration and use of vehicles on the road. The taxes are included in gasoline, vehicle license taxes, vehicle registration fees and other miscellaneous fees.

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