A controversial proposal to install a roundabout in the heart of Dundee's business district has been scrapped.
In a meeting Tuesday, Mayor Jim Suttle, public works officials and City Council members Pete Festersen and Chris Jerram agreed to a plan that will keep traffic lights in a revamped intersection at 50th Street and Underwood Avenue.
Changes to the intersection are part of a $2.5 million project that will also include brick pavers, benches and landscaping.
Traffic engineers had suggested a roundabout as a good way to handle the approximately 13,000 vehicles that pass through the intersection each day. But some residents and business owners involved in the planning worried that plan would have too big of an impact on pedestrian traffic and the design of the neighborhood.
Construction is projected to begin in April, weather-permitting, with completion expected in August.
“Now let’s move forward,” Suttle said Tuesday. “We’ve got a lot of things to fast track on the streetscape project itself. ... We’ve got a lot of heavy lifting ahead of us here.”
City engineer Todd Pfitzer said the officials came up with a workable compromise, “something that we know works.”
“It may not be the ultimate solution from a traffic standpoint,” Pfitzer said. “But there will be opportunities to take a proven system and try to tweak it to make it safer and better and move forward with the project.”
A new signal probably will not add left turn signals at the intersection, officials said.
“One of the main objectives in doing this was to slow down traffic and create public spaces for families, and this will accomplish that as well,” Festersen said after Tuesday’s meeting.
Dundee’s updated design will include larger “bump-out” curbs, updated landscaping and angled parking further east on Underwood Avenue — features that Festersen said will help slow traffic “while achieving the character we want to maintain, which is Dundee, only better.”
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