Two new roundabouts are planned for St. Clair County over the next four years.
A roundabout at Marine City Highway and Palms Road is expected to be built in 2024, while another at Krafft and State Roads is planned for 2026, said St. Clair County Road Commission engineering director Bill Hazelton. .
The projects will be fully funded with federal funds from the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program, which is designed to improve air quality by supporting initiatives that reduce idling vehicles and traffic congestion. Approximately $74 million will be administered through the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments for projects in each of the seven counties in SEMCOG’s service area.
The Marine City Highway and Palms roundabout is $841,906, while the Krafft and State roundabout is $336,441, for a total of about $1.17 million, Hazelton said.
These intersections were chosen after a traffic analysis concluded the roundabouts would reduce congestion and idling, Hazelton said.
Hazelton said the Marine City Highway roundabout will be a large roundabout with an island in the middle, so all traffic must go around the circle. The Krafft roundabout will be a small roundabout with no raised surface so that large vehicles, such as tractor-trailers, can pass through the middle of the intersection.
Marine City Highway sees a lot more truck traffic than the other intersection, so it makes sense that a larger roundabout goes there. Large vehicles crossing the middle of the island cause more traffic disruption, but the Krafft intersection sees few large vehicles, Hazelton said.
“If I go up (to Marine City Highway and Palms Road) and trucks go through the roundabout 200 times a day, is that really what you want?” said Hazelton. “I don’t know if it’s safe, effective. I don’t know if that’s really how they’re designed to be built and operated.”
The Blue Water Area Transit Commission also received $8.8 million in federal funds from the same program. Combined with $2.2 million from the Michigan Department of Transportation, the commission plans to purchase 36 buses through 2026 to replace its aging fleet.
Contact Laura Fitzgerald at (810) 941-7072 or [email protected]