The roundabout at U.S. 127/U.S. 224 and Marsh Road, north of Van Wert, is nearing completion and expected to open to traffic on Friday. (Photo submitted)
The roundabout at U.S. 127/U.S. 224 and Marsh Road, north of Van Wert, is nearing completion and expected to open to traffic on Friday. (Photo submitted)

LIMA — Van Wert County's first roundabout, located at U.S. 127/U.S. 224 and Marsh Road, north of the city of Van Wert, is expected to open by Friday.

Construction of the single-lane roundabout began early in 2022 with preliminary work before the intersection closed June 1. Once the intersection opens, finish work will continue at the intersection likely through late September to complete the project.

Officials with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) spoke with the media to share the final preparations being made to open the intersection. Remaining work includes seeding, mulching, landscaping, and pavement striping.

"The project went extremely well. We had a great deal of work to complete in 60 days in order to keep to the terms of the contract. With a few days granted due to weather and extra work, we were able to adhere to the intended schedule," said Dan Niese, ODOT District 1 construction engineer.

Temporary restrictions at Mendon Road and U.S. 30, and Boroff Road at U.S. 30 to right-in and right-out will be removed when the intersection reopens. In addition, U.S. 127 over Hagerman Creek, which was also closed during the project for deck replacement, will open with the intersection.

Statistics from around the country show that converting a two-way, stop-controlled intersection to a single-lane roundabout can result in a 40% reduction in total crashes, 75% reduction in injury crashes, and 90% reduction in fatal crashes.

"This intersection was ranked number 29 in the state in rate of crash severity -- higher than comparative rural intersections with similar traffic volumes. Roundabouts at locations such as this greatly reduce severe crashes and we expect the same result here," said Chris Hughes, ODOT District 1 deputy director.

The intersection is one of more than 150 statewide that were selected by Governor DeWine for review and safety improvements.