FLINT TWP. — Citing unexpectedly higher costs, the Genesee County Road Commission has indefinitely suspended plans to build a roundabout next year at the intersection of Dye Road and Court Street.
The controversial accident-prevention measure has been under discussion for about a year, including a public hearing last October in which a large turnout of residents opposed it.
As a result, the township board voted 6- 1 against cost-sharing in the plan but road commission officials said it would proceed anyway because the roundabout was seen as the best solution for reducing a high number of accidents at that intersection.
The initial plan called for building the roundabout this year in conjunction with other road and sewer work being done in that area of Dye Road. Subsequently building plans were pushed back until the 2014 construction year.
But Township Supervisor Karyn Miller read a letter at the Monday night board meeting announcing the road commission’s decision not to build the roundabout.
Based on the number of residents opposing the roundabout, MIller said she sent a letter to the road commission in early August asking them to reconsider constructing it.
The response from John Daly, road commission managing director, stated that preliminary engineering for the project estimated total costs at $576,300. A federal safety fund grant, initially expected to cover 90 percent of the cost, would have provided $248,000 but the remaining $328,000 local cost would have to be paid for by the road commission, since the township had opted out of paying an estimated $23,100 cost share.
“This level of required local match yields an unsuitable return on investment for the project for the Genesee County Road Commission,” Daly wrote.
“Accordingly, I am directing that for now, all work on the project subsequent to the preliminary engineering be suspended.”
Daly said the alternative traffic control measure would be explored to make that intersection safer. He also said he would update the township board on any future plans for the intersection.
The proposed single-lane roundabout would have been the first in Genesee County to be built by the road commission. Other sites also were looked at including in Mundy and Grand Blanc townships.
Federal safety funds to build the Dye/Court roundabout were awarded because of a fatality at that intersection in 2010 which currently has a four-way stop and a history of frequent accidents, according to the road commission.