Plans nearly finalized to begin work on Mt. Rose Highway roundabout in 2011 | SierraSun.com

Plans nearly finalized to begin work on Mt. Rose Highway roundabout in 2011

Matthew Renda
North Lake Tahoe Bonanza

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. and#8212; Should all the necessary permits come through, one of the main entry points into Incline Village will undergo a significant facelift beginning next year.

In conjunction with the Tahoe Transportation District, the Nevada Department of Transportation recently finalized plans to construct a roundabout at the Mt. Rose intersection on Highway 28, TTD Manager Carl Hasty announced this week.

and#8220;Driving in roundabouts is easy and follows many of the same principles of other traffic intersections,and#8221; Hasty said in a TTD press release. and#8220;Drivers yield to approaching vehicles already in the roundabout and only have to stop if there is a vehicle in the roundabout approaching to their left.and#8221;

Project construction will begin in the fall of 2011, with completion set for late 2012, Hasty said.

NDOT officials said the intersection as it currently stands has been the scene of numerous accidents, and the roundabout will improve safety.

and#8220;NDOT and TTD have utilized a great deal of research, area experience and commons sense to determine an effective safety solution for a troublesome area,and#8221; said Nick Johnson, NDOT project manager.

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The project is currently before the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency for permit approval consideration; additional approval will be needed from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Hasty said.

TTD is a federal bistate agency that can handle transportation project planning, engineering and contracting in the basin

Roundabouts, formerly located mainly in Europe, are becoming increasingly popular traffic control options for civic entities throughout the United States. A recent study conducted by the Insurance Institute for High Safety determined roundabouts are significantly safer than other types of intersections.

The study examined 24 intersections in eight states where roundabouts were installed in lieu of traditional stop sign or traffic signal oriented control methods. The study results indicated vehicular accidents declined 39 percent, accidents resulting in injuries fell 76 percent and accidents resulting in fatalities or incapacitating injuries plunged 90 percent.

Incline resident Jim Nowlin, who has worked the past few years on the project, said the roundabout will improve the aesthetics of an important entry point to Incline Village.

and#8220;We have a pretty ugly intersection there right now,and#8221; Nowlin said. and#8220;Preliminarily, I envision a welcome sign of some sort, with the centerpiece containing native plants and bronze sculptures of some of Tahoe’s native wildlife.and#8221;

Residents can submit suggestions about landscape features, potential sculptures or signs they would like to see at the entrance, said Incline resident Lee Weber-Koch, TTD outreach specialist.

All ideas for the roundabout’s interior features should be sent by Dec. 15 to suggestions@inclinegateway.org.