To address traffic and safety concerns in Richmond Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania, Michael Baker provided preliminary and final highway design, post-design and environmental services for the S.R. 0222, Section 19S roundabout.
Studies have shown that roundabouts are often safer, more efficient, less costly and more aesthetically appealing than conventional stop- or signal-controlled intersections. Most significantly, roundabouts reduce injury crashes by 75%, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
The project included replacing the signalized intersection with a modern roundabout, widening the roadway to four lanes at the approaches and constructing five-foot sidewalks along each leg of the intersection. Additional project elements included milling and paving at the intersection, drainage improvements, new signs, pedestrian lanes and new line paint.
Our team analyzed alternatives and, in collaboration with the client, identified a multi-lane hybrid roundabout option that advanced through preliminary design and environmental documentation and clearance. We developed designs for roadway geometry and drainage, signing and pavement marking, traffic control, highway lighting, erosion and sediment, and stormwater management plans; performed geotechnical investigations and prepared final bid documents, cost estimates and project specifications.
One of the most complex aspects of the project was the maintenance and protection of traffic during construction. The staging sequence required to navigate the reconstruction and widening of the roadway was designed to ensure minimum disruptions and maximize access to motorists. The plan provided a concept that maintained access to local businesses while simultaneously expediting construction.
Overall, this project has essentially eliminated the peak hour delays that existed at the signalized intersection, reducing commute times in Richmond Township and the surrounding area.
“This project represents the successful collaboration between the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Berks County, Richmond Township and local and regional stakeholders from the surrounding communities.”
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