Cottonwood moves forward on Mingus Ave.construction without roundabout on 12th St.
Council chooses cheaper option; mayor is concerned about pedestrian safety
COTTONWOOD -- Cottonwood City Council directed staff to move forward with Mingus Avenue construction along 12th Street – with no new roundabout.
Instead, staff will prepare a design with bulb-outs to shorten pedestrian crossing.
“It also creates that a visual barrier as you’re coming down the road,” said city engineer, Robert Winiecke.
A straight through intersection is estimated to cost $90,000 resulting in $100,000 in savings by not proceeding with a roundabout.
According to staff documents, reconstruction of Mingus Avenue along this intersection is “overdue.”
Staff approached council during a September 2017 work session for direction on preferences in design for the Eighth Street intersection. Traffic mitigation has always been a major talking point throughout the project, especially along 12th Street and Mingus Avenue.
One solution the city design team suggested was installation of a mini-roundabout.
According to staff documents, city staff solicited feedback from businesses along the intersection. One business, House of Ruth Pregnancy Care said that while they were supportive of the project, they were worried about how the construction would affect business.
Council Member Deb Althouse said she preferred to keep the intersection straight to alleviate time constraints.
“I would hope it would be a lot quicker,” she said.
Council Member Tosca Henry agreed.
“I’m on board with the straight through if I were that property owner,” she said.
According to staff documents, the cost of building a roundabout would be $190,500. A straight through intersection is estimated to cost $90,000 resulting in $100,000 in savings by not proceeding with a roundabout.
The funding source for the project comes from the city’s general fund and the Highway User Revenue Fund.
Council directed staff to move forward with a straight intersection with bulb-outs but Cottonwood Mayor Tim Elinski said he disagreed with the decision and preferred roundabouts as they ensure safety for pedestrians, vehicles and bicycles.
“I feel like the roundabouts achieve a lot of those goals and I know it’s more expensive but I feel like we really made a mistake with the Sixth Street intersection,” he said. “I feel that we’re going to be tearing that out before the next decade.”
Elinski said he understood the sentiment of not wanting to affect property owners.
“I feel like it’s a completely valid reason but also limits our ability to move traffic safely,” he said.
Cottonwood City Council holds regular meetings every first and third Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. at their Chambers Building, located at 826 N. Main St. For agendas and minutes, visit http://cottonwoodaz.gov/129/Agendas-Minutes.
A livestream of the meetings is also available on the Verde Valley TV YouTube channel.