City Councilors have awarded funds for work to begin in April on the Miami-Hillcrest Roundabout Project. Construction of the long-awaited project is designed to increase public safety and reduce traffic congestion along the Hillcrest Drive corridor.
Contracts totaling $1,724,560 have been awarded for surveying, engineering, and construction of the new roundabout. Similar to the construction process used for the Sunnyside-Hillcrest roundabout that was completed in 2016, this project will require a full closure of the intersection. The construction timeline anticipates that the roadway will be closed for approximately 130 days, or 4.5 months, starting around mid-April. Overall construction is expected to last into November.
(Detour map for the Miami-Hillcrest roundabout construction project)
The contractor, K&D Construction, will maintain signage to direct motorists to the detour route around the project and to discourage shortcutting through residential areas. Access to local residences and churches within the project area will be maintained throughout the project.
"We invite residents to visit our project website MoveMo.Co for additional information on this and other projects going on throughout the city,” said City Engineer Scott Murphy. “Here residents can find routine project updates and get the latest information on traffic detours."
The city conducted a Community Survey in 2016 with 60 percent of respondents stating dissatisfaction with the condition of city streets and traffic flow. City administrators carefully reviewed the feedback and began to further develop and implement a long-term plan to improve traffic flow and street conditions while decreasing traffic congestion.
Additionally, an overwhelming number of respondents to the survey said street maintenance was a city service that should receive "the most emphasis over the next two years," pinpointing Hillcrest Drive, Niagara Road, Main Street, Rio Grande Avenue, and Ogden Road as the highest priority areas for improvements.
The city also performed a traffic study of Hillcrest Drive from Main Street to Niagara Road in 2016. That study recommended the installation of roundabouts at the intersections of Miami, Sunnyside, and Niagara roads as both the near- and long-term solution to traffic flow issues in these areas.
In the summer of 2016, the city designed and constructed the first of these three roundabouts at Sunnyside and Hillcrest after the traffic study determined that this intersection was experiencing the highest traffic congestion.
Shortly after completing the Sunnyside project, the city began designing the roundabout at Miami and Hillcrest. Property acquisitions for the project started in early 2018 after the roundabout’s preliminary design and footprint were established. The project required right of way or easements from seven different landowners alongside the new roundabout. The final design and all property acquisitions were completed by January of this year.
(An aerial view of the project design shows the roundabout configuration that accommodates the skewed intersection at Miami Road and Hillcrest Drive.)
At its intersection with Miami, the alignment of Hillcrest Drive is at a skew, according to Murphy. As a result, the proposed roundabout is approximately 20 feet larger in diameter than the roundabout at Sunnyside. This larger diameter is necessary to meet geometric design standards and to accommodate large tractor-trailer vehicles that may need to use the corridor for local deliveries.
The amount of below-ground utilities, including irrigation supply infrastructure, sanitary sewer, storm sewer, water, and communications lines, was a major factor in closing the intersection entirely for the130 days, rather than constructing the project in phases.
The project will also bury existing overhead power lines while installing new street lights, power, and water services to the roundabout's center island for landscaping and decorative purposes.
Construction of the project was put out for bid on January 30 and five bids were received by the deadline of February 21.
In addition to the award of a construction contract, engineering support and survey stakeout contracts were awarded to the roundabout designers, Felsburg, Holt & Ullevig of Centennial, Colo., and Del-Mont Consultants of Montrose. This scope of work is budgeted at $64,300 on an as-needed, time and materials basis.