Thursday, 18 July 2024

Hopland roundabout completion celebrated

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The new Hopland roundabout. Courtesy of the Department of Transportation.


HOPLAND – A ceremony to celebrate the completion of the first roundabout in Mendocino County, the Hopland roundabout project at the intersection of Route 175 and Old River Road, was held on Thursday, Jan. 10, at the Brutacao Schoolhouse Plaza in Hopland.


The event was well attended. Speakers included Charles C. Fielder, Caltrans District 1 director; Alan Escarda, Caltrans construction engineer; J. David Colfax, Mendocino County Board of Supervisors; Mark Graves, superintendent of North Bay Construction; and Stan Phernambucq, chief financial officer of Caltrop Corpn.


Also in attendance were representatives from United States Congressman Mike Thompson’s office, Assemblymember Patty Berg’s office, Sen. Pat Wiggins’ office, Mendocino Council of Governments, Mendocino County Transportation Department and Fetzer Vineyards.


This intersection had experienced 11 collisions during a five-year period, which is higher than the statewide average for similar intersections. Most were the result of motorists failing to negotiate the curve at the intersection of Route 175 and Old River Road. Speeding was the primary factor in over half of the collisions. There are a significant amount of left turns from Route 175 onto Old River Road. There is no left-turn pocket, so vehicles that wanted to proceed eastbound on Route 175 were required to wait for left-turning vehicles.


The traditional solution to enhance the safety at an intersection like this one would have been to add left-turn lanes and potentially, traffic signals. However, Caltrans also constructs roundabouts if they are a better solution than a traffic signal.


A roundabout was chosen because it has numerous advantages at this location, which include: a smaller footprint than a signalized intersection with left-turn lanes, so less new right-of-way was required; providing traffic calming, resulting in reduced speeds; requiring less maintenance, lower yearly operational costs, and a longer service life; providing a safe place for large trucks to safely turn around; and enhancing the roundabout with landscaping will create an aesthetic gateway to the community.


For more information on the advantages of roundabouts, and how to navigate them, see www.dot.ca.gov/dist1/d1projects/roundabout.htm.

 

 

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The Thursday gathering officially marked the roundabout's completion. Courtesy of the Department of Transportation.
 

 

 

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