The Madera County Public Works Department recently held a second public meeting on the proposed roundabout in North Fork to discuss why the roundabout was needed. A small crowd attended to listen to consultants and engineers explain three different ideas for the center of the roundabout, each of which included a tribal print to honor the traditional Mono Indian baskets.
The roundabout, planned at the intersection of Roads 274 and 225, would be funded through a combination of federal and county Measure T monies, with no impact to the county’s general fund.
At a meeting held earlier in March, Jared Carter, Madera County’s deputy public works director said the department had received complaints about the safety of this intersection, which has no stop sign on its eastbound path out of North Fork, going uphill, but has signs on its three other sides. That was intended to allow logging trucks to travel through town when the lumber industry was thriving and the Old Mill was operational.
Carter said the county looked at the possibility of adding a stop sign or traffic signal to the intersection, but decided a roundabout was the safest option for both near and long term.
According to the CHP, in the last two years there have been four injury accidents at the intersection, with a high possibility of additional crashes that went unreported to law enforcement.
David Peters of Clovis firm Peters Engineering Group, hired to perform design work, said studies from the Federal Highway Administration and other agencies show roundabouts help reduce accidents by as much as 62% compared to intersections controlled by stop signs. If completed as designed, the roundabout will be a single lane, with a maximum speed of 20 mph, Peters said. While it will be mostly leveled off, grading will be increased from around 9.5% to 12% on the eastbound side, with some additional grading work around its entirety.
The estimated project cost is $1,860,000. Construction could begin mid-2018.