East Aurora Advertiser

State to Begin Route 400 Roundabout Construction

New York State has announced that construction is starting on the $5.9 million project to add a roundabout where Route 400 sends and Route 16 begins.

The state Department of Transportation is completing this project to improve safety in that area. The state has reported that the accident rate is three times higher there than at similar intersections around New York. It also reported that between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2017, there were 19 serious accidents in that section.

Two-way traffic will be maintained during construction via lane shifts onto the existing paved shoulder. Routes for emergency vehicles will remain open during construction. Access to nearby Richardson Road will be maintained throughout the project, thereby allowing full use of the Richardson Cottage, which is part of Erie County Emery Park. The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2022.

In a news release, DOT Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said the “project will transform the well-traveled intersection by constructing a modern, single-lane roundabout that will improve traffic flow and enhance safety along a key commuter route linking the City of Buffalo with its southern suburbs.

Flashing beacons will be placed at entries to the roundabout and audible roadway delineators – which are raised markers in the pavement that create a sound when a vehicle runs over them – will be added along the shoulders of State Route 400 and on the centerline and shoulders of State Route 16 from the roundabout to just south of North Canada Street to help keep drivers alert and enhance safety. New lighting and a sidewalk will also be installed at the roundabout.

“This project will ease congestion and improve mobility along a critically important road for Erie County commuters, providing new momentum to an already vibrant and bustling corridor,” Dominguez said in the news release. 

In addition to the construction of the roundabout, the project will also resurface approximately four miles of Route 400 from U.S. Route 20A to the new roundabout in the towns of Aurora, South Wales and Holland. Four small culverts on Route 400 will be rehabilitated to improve resiliency and reduce the risk of flooding. Additionally, guide rail, pavement markings and traffic signs will be installed.

Roundabouts are engineered to maximize safety and minimize congestion. Compared to traditional intersections, traffic flows more freely through roundabouts, cutting congestion and commute times. Reduced vehicle idling time means fewer fuel emissions and improved air quality, the state DOT reported. Crashes at roundabouts tend to be less severe because they typically occur at slower speeds. Roundabouts eliminate the need for electric-powered traffic signals. They also contribute to aesthetically pleasing landscapes. 

“The state’s investment in maintaining and improving our highway infrastructure is critical to our economy,” State Senator Patrick Gallivan said. “This project will improve efficiency and enhance safety at this well-traveled intersection for both residents of the area and visitors to our region. I look forward to the completion of this project.”

In the same news release, Assemblyman David DiPietro said he also supported the change. 

Motorists are urged to slow down and safely move over when approaching roadside vehicles displaying red, white, blue, amber or green lights, including maintenance and construction vehicles in work zones. To learn more about the Move Over law and how to keep workers and motorists safe in highway construction zones, visit www.ny.gov/workzonesafety.

Related:

Roundabout Planned for Southern End of Route 400

 

State Focusing on Roundabout at Southern End of Route 400

 

State Seeks Input on Possible Changes to Route 400 Intersection

 

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