Neighbors divided about planned roundabout near Shawnee High School

The construction of a proposed roundabout near Clark-Shawnee High School is still at least a couple years away, but it’s already drawn a dividing line between neighbors.

People like Gabe Andorfer, a former Shawnee High School student, said the roundabout will be a welcome change.

The intersection is currently controlled by a two-way stop. Andorfer said he could be stuck sitting at a stop sign for up to 10 minutes, especially during peak school times.

“(The roundabout will) get me where I need to be — whether it’s work or school and I need to get there on time,” he said.

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He said since he’s lived near the intersection, he and his family have seen their fair share of crashes — some of them even fatal.

“Throughout my life, a lot of people wouldn’t let me walk across the street because a lot of accidents have been happening there at that intersection because the traffic doesn’t stop,” Andorfer said.

Clark County commissioners voted to move forward with the roundabout in anticipation of the intersection becoming increasingly busy due to the construction project of the district’s new elementary school and traffic from Shawnee High School.

Clark County Engineer Johnathan Burr said the school district originally wanted a traffic light or a four-way stop, but the intersection doesn’t meet the requirements for either of those, so he said a roundabout was the next best option to slowing down traffic.

But neighbors like Ralph Wilson said a roundabout won’t solve any problems — it’ll just create them.

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“No way,” he said. “There’s not enough room down there with the big trucks and school buses and everything. They’re going to have to tear up somebody’s yard.”

Wilson was also concerned about the construction needed to build the roundabout.

“It’s going to be a headache,” he said. “There’s no other way for us to go to Springfield so (my wife and I) talked over quitting going to Springfield and just do all of our shopping in South Charleston to avoid (it).”

Burr said the project is still close to three years out.

Clark County will be receiving 100 percent of the money for the project through federal funding with the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Clark County Transportation Coordinating Committee, said Scott Schmid, transportation director with the Clark County TCC. Funding will cap at $1.2 million.

Clark-Shawnee voters approved a $37 million bond issue to build a new elementary school at the corner of East Possum Road and Selma Road in August 2017.

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