Motorists in Ross County will have to get used to a newer type of intersection in the near future. A roundabout is currently under construction at the intersection of State Route 159 and State Route 180, with construction of another at the 207 Connector, north of Chillicothe, set to begin later this summer.
Though roundabouts have been used throughout Europe for quite some time, more and more American communities are adopting they're use as well, and ODOT Press Secretary Matt Bruning says, it's all about safety.
These two roundabouts will be single lane, which makes them easier to navigate than with multi-lane roundabouts. Bruning says entering a roundabout is quite similar to merging into highway traffic from a highway entrance ramp.
Bruning says there will be an adjustment period for drivers that aren't used to roundabouts, but in time they'll come to see the benefits. Studies from the Federal Highway Administration show there's a 44% reduction of all crashes using roundabouts compared to regular intersections and fatal crashes decline by up to 80%. He says they are also a better "mover of traffic".
Both roundabouts will be ready for use in October of this year.