KERNERSVILLE, N.C. — The North Carolina Department of Transportation will soon begin construction on a roundabout at the intersection of Dobson Street and N.C.66/Bodenhamer Street in Kernersville.
Engineers say roundabouts are now the best way to reduce crashes and improve traffic flow at problematic intersections.
The roundabout in Kernersville will be the 12th one to be built in Forsyth County in recent years, one of more than 100 now being used across the state.
Engineers say roundabouts alleviate congestion during peak travel times and reduce the number of crashes.
"The roundabout forces everyone into the same traffic direction,” said John Rhyne, NCDOT engineer. “Everybody is turning right, making the same movement and it slows the traffic down and reduces the number of conflict points at intersection."
Rhyne said a 2011 study by the NCDOT showed that crashes at intersections with roundabouts decreased by more than 46 percent and severe crashes dropped by more than 75 percent.
Engineers say not only are they safer, but more efficient.
"It is much more efficient at moving, where as a signal someone is always sitting on red, stopped. In a roundabout all you have to do is yield," said Rhyne.
The NCDOT says roundabouts typically cost between $200,000 and $400,000 to build, but in the long run they require less maintenance than highly electronic signaled intersections.
The roundabout in Kernersville is planned to be completed by the end of this year.