Wooster Roundabout

A car enters Alumni Drive just north of Wooster Street.

A two-lane roundabout is being planned for Bowling Green.

During a virtual meeting Wednesday, representatives from the city, the Ohio Department of Transportation and Poggemeyer Design Group led a virtual meeting about how East Wooster Street traffic would be interrupted when construction starts in 2023.

Bowling Green State University also is a partner in the plan.

“This all goes toward that front porch idea that BGSU and the city of Bowling Green had in 2015 to enhance the entry points to the city,” said Brian Craft, public works director for the city.

The new roundabout is planned at the intersection of East Wooster and Campbell Hill Road/Alumni Drive.

By comparison, the current roundabout on East Wooster at Interstate 75 is a one-lane roundabout.

“This roundabout will allow easy U-turns which will replace the left turns, which allowed for the T-bone collisions in this corridor,” Craft said.

Jeff Yoder, with Poggemeyer, explained why two lanes enter the roundabout from the east and west but just one lane from the north and south.

He said they evaluated the traffic in that location and while a single-lane roundabout is preferred, the volume of traffic at that intersection did not meet the design requirements.

“We just didn’t need the additional lanes on Campbell Hill for the roundabout to function properly,” he said.

Other planned improvements include a new median along the center of Wooster Street from Campbell Hill to the existing roundabout at the I-75 interchange.

The median may be extended west to the Stroh Center pedestrian beacon, Craft said.

The new median, which will have decorative lighting and may have trees planted in it, will make all the commercial drives along that corridor right-in and right-out. Drivers wanting to turn left from a business will have to go to a roundabout to turn around.

During construction, which is expected to last four months, traffic on Wooster Street will be maintained as one lane.

During Phase I, Alumni Drive will be closed for 60 days. Traffic will be shifted to the south half of Wooster Street while work occurs on the north side.

During Phase 2, Alumni Drive and Campbell Hill Road will be closed for 30 days and traffic will be shifted to the north side of the road and utilize the north half of the roundabout.

It was later clarified that Alumni Drive would be closed for a total of 90 days.

During Phase 3, one lane of the roundabout will be put into service while work continues on the median.

There is the possibility of nightly closures or daily closures to allow for final paving, said Brad Holman, city engineer.

Jeff Yoder, with Poggemeyer, explained the project schedule. His firm is currently working on the design. Right-of-ways will be acquired in 2022. The project will be bid in early 2023 with construction between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

There was a question about how the construction would account for heavy traffic during the BGSU move-in, graduation and sporting events.

There has been construction in the past on East Wooster and the city will coordinate with BGSU, Craft said.

Graduation happens mid-May, and sporting events will be pretty much non-existent in the summer, but he expects some conflicts in September.

Access to Carter Park will be monitored as well, Craft said.

The BGSU sign now to the north of the intersection will have to be moved, and Holman said a BG/BGSU sign may be put in the center of the median.

He also said that bicyclists will use the median just like an automobile would. There will be a multi-use path around the entire roundabout.

Pedestrian crossings will be on all four corners, with speeds allowed at 15-20 mph.

This is the third phase of work from the 2015 Wooster Street Corridor Study, which planned a safer corridor with improvements to pedestrian connectivity, vehicle assess and lighting.

The first and second phases were the pedestrian beacon and the I-75 roundabout.

Holman gave the project impacts, including the access changes while construction is ongoing.

Some rights-of-way will need to be acquired but the majority will be on the BGSU side of the intersection, he said.

Rain gardens will be added in order to handle the treatment of storm water runoff.

The goal is to make a positive impression as drivers enter the city, Craft said.

Funding for the city’s portion is estimated at $625,000.

The funding is planned to be split between the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments Transportation Improvement Program and city funds. This is for paving funds, as well as utility funds to pay for lighting and any underground infrastructure.

When this project was awarded funding from TMACOG, the estimate was roughly $1.5-$2 million, with $915,000 being paid through the Transportation Improvement Program. As the plans are finalized these numbers will likely change a bit.

Comments can be made before Oct. 16 to Holman at bholman@bgohio.org or 419-354-6227.