Traffic experts have chosen a roundabout design for the Five Points intersection, and it will be a circle, not the peanut-shaped design that was among the alternatives considered.
Part of the reason the circle was chosen was because of public feedback, said Steve Miles, design engineer for the Butler County Engineer’s Office.
The main reasons for changing the intersection are safety and traffic flow. The intersection straddles the border of Hamilton and Fairfield Township, and is a crossroads where Hancock Avenue, Grand Boulevard, Tylersville Road, Hamilton-Mason Road and Tuley Road meet.
“Some of the opinions were the circular one was more comfortable for people to drive,” Miles said. “Simpler as far as navigating. We have 19-plus in the area, I think, and they’re all circular.”
“The other thing is, of course, making turns through the peanut type, for truck vehicles, was more difficult,” Miles said.
The amount of property that had to be taken with a circle, compared with a peanut shape, was about the same, he said.
Workers are still investigating the conditions of soil at properties that may need to be acquired around the intersection. There were gas stations located near the intersection, so soil contamination could be a concern.
Construction may start in 2021, and is expected to take 6-8 months.
“This is five spokes, which we have not done in this area, so it does get a little complicated, trying to maintain traffic,” Miles said. “We’re going to try to maintain traffic, also.”
Chancey Howard, a longtime area resident and chairman of the East End’s neighborhood group, Hamilton’s Own Mobilizing the East-End (HOME), calls the roundabout “an excellent idea.”
As someone who drives a bus for Fairfield schools, he’s glad the peanut shape wasn’t picked because, “I don’t know how that would work for a school bus.”
Because the intersection is a major gateway into Hamilton for people arriving from West Chester, Mason and other places, he hopes Hamilton and the county work together to make sure the entryway, now marred by blight, is beautified.
“The area here is on its way with kind-of having a rebound,” he said.
The East End will have a block party get-together 6:30-8 p.m. Thursday at Crawford Woods Elementary School with two bands, an illusionist, free food, carnival games, prizes, and the opportunity to meet neighbors and learn about efforts to improve the neighborhood, he said.
“Traffic congestion in that area has always been a problem,” Miles said. “And of course, roundabouts have a proven safety record, as far as reducing more serious accidents.”
Not including property-acquisition or movement of utilities, a rough estimate of $2.4 million has been given for construction costs.