Warrenville considers roundabout for intersections that don't align

WARRENVILLE – The city of Warrenville is considering constructing an oval roundabout near Warrenville Road to help make traffic flow less awkward at two intersections that do not align.

Both Batavia and River roads intersect Warrenville Road near each other, but each street dead-ends at Warrenville Road and only extends in one direction: Batavia to the north and River to the south.

“The roadway configuration in that area is just odd,” said Ronald Mentzer, Warrenville’s community development director.

The proposed Old Town Roundabout Project would help link traffic on the two roadways.

Warrenville has looked at ways to address circulation in this area for about 30 years, and several options have been considered for the offset intersections, Mentzer said.

From the city’s perspective, the hope is to calm traffic and help it move in a smoother and more organized fashion, he said.

The project also would aim to add areas where pedestrians and bicyclists could travel.

In April 2013, the Warrenville City Council chose an oval roundabout as the city’s preferred alternative for the intersections, agreeing with the recommendation of staff and the city’s Public Safety Committee, according to the city’s website.

With that direction from elected officials, staff have worked on a preliminary engineering design with consultant Engineering Resource Associates.

A draft of the report was shared with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), and the city also held a public meeting about it on March 11.

The project team now is working to update the preliminary design report based on the feedback received from IDOT, with the expectation of submitting it later this spring. IDOT likely will approve the report this summer, Mentzer said.

While the city does not need IDOT’s approval to move forward with the project, the purpose of involving the department in the development process is hopefully to have most of the project funded by state and federal sources, he said.

Including all engineering, land acquisition and construction costs, the project is projected to total about $3.6 million, Mentzer said.

In order to complete the project, the city would need to purchase the property where a gas station currently sits at the northeast corner of Batavia and Warrenville roads.

However, compared to other options such as aligning the existing intersections and adding traffic signals, the roundabout proposal requires the fewest properties to be purchased and businesses to be displaced, according to city records.

After Warrenville hears back this summer from IDOT regarding the preliminary design report, there still are several stages of city approval needed before the project could break ground, Mentzer said.

If all the necessary steps are approved by city officials, construction would likely begin in the next three to five years, he said.

While leaders could decide not to move forward with the roundabout, Mentzer said it’s worth it for the city to explore.

“I believe it’s an important project for the city to consider,” he said.