The project will also cover the cost to replace deteriorating water lines downtown while the work is taking place.
“This doesn’t just include Monument Square,” Bumbalough said. “It’s also one block in each direction.”
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The bulk of the funding for the project, about $688,000, is split between an Ohio Small Cities grant and a separate grant from ODOT, he said. The costs for the water line replacement will be paid for through a zero-percent loan for about $404,000 from the Ohio Public Works Commission. The remainder, about $300,000, will be paid for from the city through a variety of funds, Bumbalough said.
The work will be completed in phases to provide access to businesses. Pedestrians will be able to access the square while the work is being completed, he said. Currently, painted lanes direct drivers through the traffic circle and provide crossing routes for pedestrians through downtown.
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The costs to install the roundabout were relatively minimal in 2009, with the idea that if the project wasn’t successful the intersection could go back to a more traditional four-way intersection, Bumbalough said. This project will make the roundabout a more permanent part of downtown Urbana.
“We’re changing it from a striped roundabout to a modern roundabout,” Bumbalough said.
The upgrades will include installing concrete barriers that are designed to slow traffic down as it enters the intersection, and better direct vehicles through the square. Concrete islands will also be installed to provide an island for pedestrians as they cross intersections downtown. The curbs at pedestrian crosswalks will also be closer to the edge of the road, meaning pedestrians will have a shorter distance to walk through the intersection to improve safety.
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Flashing traffic beacons will also be installed to make drivers more aware that a pedestrian wants to cross the intersection. Additional landscaping will be added to make the downtown intersection more attractive.
Notice of the road closures will be posted at least two weeks in advance for each phase of the project.
“We’re not closing downtown when we do this project,” Bumbalough said. “We’re trying to maintain pedestrian and parking access as best we can.”