Scotty’s Contracting Completes Roundabout

Bowling Green, KY – Mayor Bruce Wilkerson put a black helmet on his head this morning at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Bowling Green’s new roundabout.

“I’m ready,” he said, after donning what could be construed as a crash helmet, apparently an inside joke. “Let’s cut this ribbon.”

The roundabout – at the intersection of U.S. 31-W/Nashville Road, University Boulevard and Loving Way – is open for traffic.

The one-way circular intersection is the state’s first modern multi-lane roundabout, said Greg Meredith, chief district engineer at the Department of Highways in Bowling Green. It has two lanes.

Total cost of the project is about $9.8 million, with about $3.9 million for construction, about $2 million for utilities, about $3 million for right-of-way acquisition and about $977,000 for design.

The roundabout was completed in about 38 months from design to opening, said Wes Watt, public information officer for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 3, on Wednesday. Construction began May 4 by Scotty’s Contracting & Stone, LLC.

“The crews have worked long hours and, you know, weekends and everything to make sure that this got done before (Western Kentucky University) went back to school, and we had such a tight window because we couldn’t start until WKU was out of school,” Watt said. “That was definitely the best time to construct this thing.”

Good weather helped move the project forward swiftly, he said.

Wilkerson said he has been one of the biggest skeptics of the roundabout throughout the process.

“This is a magnificent construction project,” Wilkerson said. “I’m anxious to see how it works.”

Others speaking at the ribbon cutting ceremony had more positive comments about the roundabout.

Modern roundabouts are designed to regulate speeds of drivers, Meredith said, and the goal was to create a modern-day model of a safer intersection.

“I’m proud that we as a cabinet, we as community and we as a university choose to lead,” Meredith said.

State Rep. Jody Richards, D-Bowling Green, said the roundabout has greatly improved the attractiveness of the intersection.

The idea for the roundabout came out of a series of neighborhood meetings about city streets where it became clear that a fix was needed for the intersection.

“The configuration that was here was not suitable, and this is much more functional,” he said.

Many people are underestimating the experience of drivers in Kentucky using roundabouts, Richards said. Drivers throughout the south are accustomed to using roundabouts around county courthouses.

“If motorists will follow my three rules, it’ll be fine,” he said. “Follow the signs, slow down, but keep moving.”

Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon said that the intersection has been a major bottleneck causing traffic congestion for many years.

“Regardless of how many jobs are created in an area and regardless of how many people are employed, if they can’t get to work safe and on time, it’s almost futile,” he said.

The roundabout will help keep traffic moving safely and continuously, Buchanon said.

“I think this is going to be an extraordinary advantage to the people of Warren County and Bowling Green,” he said. “It’s going to help them commute safely, it’s going to help them get home to their families more safely.”

Bryan Russell, chief facilities officer at WKU, said that he was impressed with the efficiency with which the project was completed.

About 17,000 students will be coming to WKU’s campus when classes start in late August and WKU workers try to get major projects done by Aug. 15, he said.

“This project was completed ahead of schedule and it’s absolutely tremendous,” Russell said.

The opening of the roundabout has been highly awaited, with one person opening a Twitter account in the project’s name. This morning a tweet from the account exclaimed: “Sooooo excited. Can’t wait to see everyone today.”


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