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Springbrook roundabout is approved

A $3.9 million roundabout got the green light from the Medford City Council Thursday night, paving the way for improvements to Springbrook Road where it meets with Cedar Links Drive.

The city might have three roundabouts before long, if the council approves another proposed traffic circle at Crater Lake Avenue and Owen Drive. Medford already has a roundabout at Siskiyou and Highland.

In addition to the roundabout, the city will improve 2,300 feet of Springbrook Road between Pheasant Lane and Cedar Links, adding a travel lane in each direction, a center turn lane, 5-foot-wide bike lanes, planter strips, sidewalks, street lights, a shared-use pathway and storm drains.

The road currently is two lanes, and traffic engineers don’t think it’s adequate to handle present and future traffic needs through the expanding residential neighborhood.

The city originally had thought of putting a signal at the three-legged intersection, but a study by the engineering firm Kittelson and Associates found a roundabout would be the safest alternative.

To build the project, the city will have to buy 14,000 square feet of private property from 28 landowners.

The city expects the project to be completed in fall 2020, with the money budgeted by the Public Works Department.

On March 1, the council awarded a $316,954 contract to Kittleson and Associates Inc. to study both a traffic signal and three roundabout designs at the accident-prone intersection of Crater Lake Avenue and Owen Drive.

The cost to build a Crater Lake Avenue roundabout, in addition to the Kittleson contract, is estimated at $1.25 million compared with $400,000 for a traffic signal.

For $35,000 of the contract amount, Kittleson will spend up to four months analyzing whether a roundabout at the intersection will handle traffic better than a signal and report back to the council.

If the council decides it wants a traffic signal, the Kittleson contract would be $213,000, but if the council approves a roundabout design, it would pay the full $316,954. The design and engineering phase would take another six months.

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or dmann@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on www.twitter.com/reporterdm.