By Eric Heinz
City Council approved the construction design of roundabouts and the re-striping of bike lanes at the intersections of Camino Del Rio and Calle Sarmentoso as well as Del Rio and Camino De Los Mares. The project would also reduce Del Rio to one lane of traffic each way in order to accommodate the roundabout flow of traffic. The purpose of the project is to prepare for the expected increase of travelers through the area once Avenida La Pata is connected to Del Rio.
Tom Frank, the city’s transportation engineer, said there’s going be an expected increase of 6,000 vehicles per day through the corridor on Camino Del Rio. Frank said the roundabouts are designed to accommodate 20,000 cars a day to provide a continuous flow of traffic.
The roundabout speed limit is a maximum of 20 miles per hour. The posted speed would be 40 mph until the traffic counts and speed survey are completed.
City staff members said studies have shown roundabouts with 25 mile-per-hour limits and one lane going each way are safer than two-lane roundabouts. .
Councilman Chris Hamm said he was excited about the project and would like to see this in other parts of the community.
The project construction is expected to start in the summer or fall of 2016. The OCTA interim approval for lane reduction is expected to take place in April, with final bids for construction to come in June. The cost of the project is $800,000 for the restriping of Calle Sarmentoso and Camino Del Rio as well as the roundabout installation.