F’ville OK’s bid for Grady-Beauregard roundabout

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There is about to be a big — round —change coming to the busy intersection of Grady Avenue and Beauregard Boulevard in Fayetteville.

Initial work will begin in April and will lead to a re-worked intersection that will feature a roundabout in place of the current four-way stop. The $553,000 bid for the project was approved March 17 by the Fayetteville City Council.

City Director of Public Services Don Easterbrook said utility work is expected to begin in early April. The intersection of Grady Avenue and Beauregard Boulevard will be closed to traffic when construction of the roundabout begins once school has ended in May. The intersection will remain closed for up to 10 weeks, with work completed by the time school re-opens in August, Easterbrook said.

Describing the layout of the roundabout, Easterbrook said there will be an interior grassed island 47 feet in diameter immediately surrounded by a 17-foot-wide drivable truck apron for vehicles with limited turning radius. The truck apron will be constructed of stamped concrete that will resemble cobblestone, according to Integrated Science & Engineering consultant Jason Walls.

The outer asphalt ring, at 18 feet wide, will be for regular traffic use.

In all, the radius of the roundabout from the center to the outside of the asphalt ring will be approximately 60 feet, Easterbrook said.

Each side of Beauregard and Grady approaching the roundabout will come with a feature not always seen with roundabouts. Traffic entering and exiting the roundabout from each of the four sides will be separated by a small triangular-shaped median.

An additional feature to the roundabout will be specific to Grady Avenue as it approaches from Ga. Highway 54 to the west. Although roundabouts by their design have right turn-only lanes, Grady Avenue as it approaches the roundabout will have the customary right turn lane and another that splits off and travels directly into the roundabout, thereby potentially reducing the traffic back-ups so frequent on that side of the intersection.

The grass and low-lying plants that will be included in the center of the roundabout will be accented by landscaping with low-lying shrubs and grasses on all four sides of the intersection. The height of the shrubs will be kept to a minimum so as not to obstruct the view of motorists entering the roundabout area, said Walls.

Easterbrook said the city is also working on a conceptual design of the Grady Avenue/Hwy. 85 intersection, including a southbound right turn lane and the lengthening of the northbound left turn, in case that upgrade is warranted once the roundabout opens.

Easterbrook said detour signs alerting drivers to the street closures will be posted in the areas Grady Avenue and Ga. Highway 54, Grady and Ga. Highway 85 and along Hwy. 85 and Beauregard and south of the intersection on Redwine Road.

The project award went to Southeastern Site Development, Inc. with a bid amount of $552,772.39. The Southeastern bid was the second lowest of seven bids received. Southeastern won the bid after consulting engineering firm Integrated Science and Engineering reviewed the bids and found that the low bidder had omitted some of the bid items.

The roundabout project is funded through the city’s Impact Fee Fund. Easterbrook said there will be a projected shortfall of $191,000 that will be covered by remaining funds in the Lafayette Avenue Extension project that was recently put on hold.