Roundabout coming to South Coddington and West Van Dorn intersection

School was in session at Roper Elementary Thursday night as the city held an open house to educate the public about upcoming construction just down the road.

The project will add a one-lane roundabout at the intersection of South Coddington and West Van Dorn.

City officials say there have been so many accidents there that the federal government offered funds to help fix it.

"We really identified the roundabout – single lane roundabout – as the best way to do that – to reduce speeds and reduce crashes," said project manager Craig Aldridge. 

The project will be in 4 phases, with one ‘leg’ of the intersection closing at a time while the other three remain open.

Clarice Loomis has run an ice cream shop on the corner for nearly four decades.

She says she’s nervous about road closures, but thinks it will help make the area more attractive.

"I was definitely worried at first, because you always wonder how that’s going to affect your business," Loomis said. 

"When it’s all done, I think the appearance of the corner will be better – and it’s supposed to be safer."

Across the street from her shop is Lee’s Chicken, where Dennis Kann has been a manager for 25 years.

He’s seen his fair share of accidents in that time, and hopes the project will cut down on the number of accidents in the area.

"We’ve seen it all," Kann said.

"We’ve seen cars almost take out the light poles and we’ve seen cars roll over into the dairy sweet over there and end up on their side. We’ve seen cars crash in the middle – the intersection – and start on fire. And it’s just that people don’t understand what do when they come up here. I don’t know why, but they don’t. One says stop, the other says go…. But they don’t."

The city says construction crews should break ground on April 24th and should have the road work done by September.