GV ponders roundabout at congested corner | TheUnion.com

GV ponders roundabout at congested corner

A roundabout could one day be built at the congested Idaho-Maryland and East Main intersection in Grass Valley, in an effort to clear all-too-common bottlenecks at the four-way stop.

The City Council on Tuesday will consider a proposal to build a roundabout, 144 feet to 150 feet wide, near the Golden Center Freeway on- and offramps.

The city may have to buy property formerly occupied by the long-closed Terrible Herbst Oil Co. gas station and sections of three other nearby properties in order to build the roundabout, according to a city report.

The project could cost $322,000 to $378,000, according to a report by the Nevada County Transportation Commission. It could be funded with mitigation fees.

To ease congestion, the city first proposed signals for the stop.

But Caltrans officials opposed the idea, saying the Golden Center Freeway could not handle masses of cars entering the freeway all at once. The Idaho Maryland onramp and Bennett Street offramp are close to each other, forcing cars to weave in and out of traffic.

That create hazards, said Mark Dinger, a spokesman for Caltrans, which has yet to make a recommendation on the roundabout.

Dan Landon, executive director of the Nevada County Transportation Commission, said the proposed Richardson/Bennett street realignment project close to the nearby Grass Valley post office will increase congestion east of the Idaho Maryland/East Main intersection. For that reason, the roundabout project should proceed as soon as possible, he said.

Karl Drummond, a floor manager at Hills Flat Lumber near the Idaho Maryland-East Main intersection, said he likes the idea of a roundabout. The intersection is so busy at times that he cannot even cross the street, he said. Yet he wonders how large delivery trucks that routinely come to his store will be able to negotiate the roundabout.

The city’s first roundabout was built in 1999 near Sierra College-Nevada County Campus on Sierra College Drive.

WHAT: Grass Valley City Council, regular meeting

WHEN: 7 p.m. Tuesday

WHERE: Council Chambers, City Hall, 125 E. Main St.

INFO: 274-4310

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