By Brandi Makuski
A roundabout is in the works for the city’s north side.
The idea of installing a roundabout at Northpoint Dr./Bus. 51 has been bouncing around city offices for more than a decade, according to city documents, and was slated for inclusion in the now-defunct Bus. 51 remodel inside the city. That remodel project has since been placed on the back-burner, with the city putting a strong focus on completion of the Country Club Dr./Hoover Rd. overpass project.
Still, the Stevens Point Board of Public Works approved hiring engineering firm AECOM with designing a roundabout at the intersection, at a cost of $184,570.
In a July memo to the board, Public Works Director Scott Beduhn explained redevelopment by Sentry Insurance on the southwest corner of the intersection made it the perfect time to take on the traffic-calming project.
“With development of the [former Holiday Inn] site underway, and potential for other development within the area, the importance to implementing these improvements is becoming even greater,” Beduhn said.
Along with the roundabout will come changes to some of the surrounding streets, Beduhn said, to include installation of bicycle lanes on both sides of Northpoint Dr. between Second and Prentice streets.
The new roundabout would replace the existing traffic signals at the city’s entrance, he added.
Mayor Mike Wiza said the roundabout could include a multi-use path, suitable for bicyclists and pedestrians. If that item is included in the final design, another $214,450 would be added to the design fee — but that path can only be included in the design if approved, in writing, by the City Council at some point in the future.
“It would be authorized at some point in the future if you chose to do that,” Wiza said, adding the city would likely not be able to fund the extra item with a “private benefactor”.
Once the design process has reached a certain point, Wiza said, officials from AECOM and the city would hold a public involvement meeting to take input from constituents on the project.