FAIRBORN — Construction officially wrapped up on at least one section of Kauffman Avenue this week.
The city unveiled the newly constructed roundabout between Colonel Glenn Highway and Kauffman Avenue on Sunday. This project aims to improve traffic flow in the area, decrease maintenance costs, and reduce collisions.
The Colonel Glenn and Kauffman intersection is the fifth most dangerous intersection in the city, according to crash statistics gathered from 2013 to 2015. Research has shown that roundabouts reduce head-on collisions and T-bone collisions, as there are fewer points of conflict between vehicles. The area between Kauffman and Colonel Glenn is well suited to such an improvement compared to other dangerous intersections due to the moderate level of traffic and slower speeds, according to officials.
The construction project cost $4.3 million in total. The city provided $1.6 million of the necessary funds, the rest of which was supplied by grants from the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission, the Ohio Department of Transportation, the Ohio Public Works Commission, and the State of Ohio’s Surface Transportation Program. Despite the high initial expense, the city expects to save money each year in maintenance and other life cycle costs associated with the intersection, officials said.
The traffic lights that previously moderated the intersection were more than 50 years old before their removal last year and reportedly accounted for the third highest number of traffic light maintenance calls in the city.
“This is the first roundabout the city of Fairborn has put in,” said City Engineer Lee Harris. “We’re looking forward to see how the public likes it. We would be open to putting more roundabouts in the city, in locations where they would work well.”
Fairborn residents have already expressed approval in their comments on social media. One Facebook user even suggested a “Welcome to Fairborn” sign be placed in the middle of the roundabout’s lawn.
“We have talked about trying to get something out that way, as that is a sort of gateway into the city,” said Harris. “That may happen eventually.”
Other construction projects are underway throughout the city, including improvements being made to northbound Kauffman Avenue, which remains closed. Drivers will be able to navigate southbound Kauffman but will need to utilize the Parkwood/Garland detour heading back to downtown. Work on Maple Avenue is also expected to start this week. Detour maps are available on the city’s Facebook page and on the projects page of fairbornoh.gov.
Reach London Bishop at 937-372-4444, ext. 2122.