For months, crews with heavy construction equipment have been busily converting a busy Bowling Green intersection from one controlled by traffic lights to a roundabout.
“It’s been a little chaos, but we’ve managed,” said Betty Kirby who lives in the neighborhood.
“But this whole week, we haven’t gotten any U.S. Mail and I really didn’t think that was necessary to stop the mail. We got here, so I don’t know why they didn’t bring the mail. I guess it’ll get here next week,” she said.
Kirby says the roundabout should help relieve congestion in the intersection as long as drivers “watch what they’re doing – which they don’t a lot of times.”
The roundabout at the intersection of University Boulevard, the 31-W Bypass and Loving Way was officially unveiled Friday morning with a ribbon- cutting ceremony. Warren County Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon was among the state, county and city officials who attended.
“I think this is an extraordinary advantage to moving traffic safely and continuously through this tremendously active roadway. This intersection is very important to getting people to and from work and home safely,” said Buchanon.
Many who spoke before the ribbon-cutting noted that they had grown up with roundabouts, usually around downtown courthouse. State Representative Jody Richards offered his three safety tips.
“Follow the signs, slow down and keep moving, it’ll work fine,” said Richards.
Bowling Green Mayor Bruce Wilkerson admits he’s been skeptical about roundabouts, but said Friday “this is a magnificent construction project, I’m anxious to see how it works. This is quite an effort.”
Wilkerson jokingly donned a motorcycle helmet before quipping “I’m ready to cut the ribbon.”
The Kentucky Department of Highways is calling the traffic circle the first “modern, multi-lane” roundabout in the state. It was completed a week ahead of schedule.
“Our ultimate goal for the project was to create a modern-times model for how we create safer and more effective intersections,” said Greg Meredith with the Kentucky Department of Highways. “I believe we’re on track the right track and I believe we met the goal here.”