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The Apponaug Circulator is a five-roundabout project designed to drastically reduce the number of vehicles (25,000 daily) that pounded through the historical village center of Apponaug and relocate them to major roads thus creating a free traffic flow through Warwick, Rhode Island. Only 6,800 vehicles are now going through the village center.
The unique five-circulator system increases driving safety by eliminating the possibility for T-bone crashes and lowering speeds while accommodating a 30-50 percent increase in traffic capacity. Roundabouts also reduce gas emissions.
With the removal of congestion, the area in front of and around Warwick City Hall in Apponaug Village was opened to economic development. The village center is more pedestrian friendly and amenable to restaurants and shops locating there. An 18th century mill site, the Sawtooth Building, isolated by the previous configuration, was sold and is being renovated to house the offices of the American Automobile Association.
The Apponaug Circulator was built in an environmentally sensitive way. RIDOT relocated the Apponaug River for better environmental and storm-water management using prefabricated arch sections assembled on site to reduce construction time. The river relocation created an open system which improved fish migration. Improved water runoff systems were installed. Eleven underground storage tanks were removed. Dams and spillways were repaired or replaced to recreate a wetland habitat. New landscaping, sidewalks and curb cuts for pedestrians and bicycles were added.
Landscaping in the center of the roundabouts creates a visually pleasing barrier that keeps cars from looking across and anticipating traffic speeds which keeps traffic moving at a safe pace. Curbing around the roundabout centers creates aprons to accommodate large commercial trucks as they turn.
Condition: The road system in Apponaug village was last altered in the 1970s. Traffic volumes increased substantially to the point where about 25,000 were passing through the village center, creating congestion and hampering economic revitalization.
Length of Roadway: Our entire project covers 2.3 miles of roadway, including 1,100 feet of new road that serves as the bypass for Apponaug village.
Intersection Improvements: Three signalized and two unsignalized intersections were redesigned to feature modern roundabouts. A roundabout is a one-way circular intersection in which traffic flows around a center island. They provide improved safety, greater efficiency, higher capacity and aesthetic benefits over traditional intersections controlled by traffic signals. They also provide environmental benefits through reduced pollution and fuel consumption.
Project Cost: $71 million, which included a $29.8 million construction contract. The project reached substantial completion in October 2017, finishing on budget and about one month ahead of schedule.