LELAND — After floating plans for a $1 million traffic signal and a $54,000 quick-fix roundabout striping solution, the Town of Leland settled on installing a true roundabout for a busy Brunswick Forest intersection.
The $257,484 project was originally slated to begin construction this week, but a manufacturing holdup with signposts and curbing will delay the project until August. Work is estimated to last 60 days and wrap up by October.
Plans include installing extensive signage, striping, crosswalks, and a concrete median roundabout at the intersection of Brunswick Forest Parkway and Low Country Boulevard. Set to approve a simple striping solution in May 2020, council instead opted to request an engineering study of the basic proposal prepared by the North Carolina Department of Transportation.
Kittelson & Associates, Inc., the firm assigned to the project, estimated the single-lane roundabout would cost $184,000. The town bid the project out three times: once informally in January, receiving one bid; a second time in February, receiving two; a third time in March, again receiving two bids. Both came in well over the engineer’s estimate with the lowest bidder, C.M. Mitchell Construction Company, Inc., offering to complete the project for $257,484.
At a town council meeting held last week, Mayor Brenda Bozeman addressed mounting concerns brought forth by Brunswick Forest neighbors, many of which reported feeling left out of the planning process.
“Rest assured, this has not been an overnight decision,” she said. “Traffic engineers have been involved.”
Town manager David Hollis explained just $188,000 of the total project cost will be attributed to the roundabout itself. Other fees will pay to stripe the entire length of Brunswick Forest Parkway.
Residents have long complained of speeding and safety issues along the well-traveled road with a 40 mph speed limit. Leland Police Department have conducted radar tests, showing cars traveling below 35 mph. A speed device maintained by the town showed the average vehicle speed in January 2020 during the most well-traveled time frame, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., was about 34 mph.
Eventually, the town plans to install a traffic signal at the intersection, but that project is still several years out.
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