Seymour’s first roundabout to open


A stretch of South O’Brien Street closed for more than 100 days will reopen next week along with Seymour’s first roundabout.

City engineer Bernie Hauersperger said the target date is Nov. 20.

"That’s the date to open it with temporary striping," he said. "Surface pavement will still need to be added."

Since the first phase of the new Burkart South Bypass is under construction and the second phase has not yet begun, the roundabout will only have north and south access for now, Hauersperger said.

[sc:text-divider text-divider-title=”Story continues below gallery” ]

Although the roundabout is a new traffic configuration in the city, Hauersperger doesn’t think it will cause any problems.

"I think we will all be fine with this opening," he said.

The key is for motorists to slow down and just learn how to drive through the roundabout, he added.

"Follow the signs," he said. "If you are unfamiliar with roundabouts, this will be a good one to check out and drive as traffic is usually low volume."

Roundabouts sometimes get a bad rap, but they are designed to improve traffic flow and reduce fatal wrecks.

"You end up with a calming effect as traffic flows around," Hauersperger said. 

Instead of coming to a stop and having to look in multiple directions, motorists enter the roundabout and only have to be mindful of the traffic flow in one direction.

"It is easier than a stop intersection where you have to check for traffic in all directions," he said.

Roundabouts should not be seen as a four-way stop, he added.

"Movement in the roundabout is expected, and we have room for many cars at one time," he said. "There will be confused drivers at first, but they will get it eventually."

Hauersperger doesn’t think roundabouts are always the answer to a traffic problem, but they do reduce the chances of wreck-related injuries, he said.

"Roundabouts are not the cure-all to eliminate accidents, but they have been proven to lower injury accidents as it is more difficult to T-bone or have a head-on collision at a roundabout," he said. "I think persons unfamiliar with roundabouts or who are negative about them need to do a little research and find out more about them."

The city has posted information for the public on roundabouts on its Facebook page at

The roundabout is costing the city about $900,000 and is part of the first phase of the overall $30 million bypass project, which will take Burkart Boulevard from East Tipton Street to Airport Road in the Freeman Field Industrial Park on the city’s west side.

Two more roundabouts are planned as part of Phase II. They will be constructed where the new road will intersect State Road 11 or South Walnut Street and at its intersection with Airport Road.

Phase II will go out to bid in January with construction beginning in the spring of 2021. Hauersperger said the two roundabouts will be built next summer.

Another project expected to be completed this month that includes double roundabouts is the State Road 11/Interstate 65 interchange.

Closed since Aug. 24, the $7.8 million reconstruction project has reconfigured the area into a "dog bone" interchange featuring two single-lane roundabouts with interior truck aprons on either side of the State Road 11 overpass.

"Dog bone" interchanges allow free-flow thru movement and also accommodate left and right turns via the two roundabouts. These types of interchanges also increase safety as intersection conflict points are significantly reduced, vehicle speeds are slower, stop signs and signals are eliminated and traffic is able to move more efficiently through the area.

The interchange project was part of the $143 million added travel lanes project on I-65 between Seymour and Columbus, which wrapped up in September.

[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”On the Web” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

The city has posted information for the public on roundabouts on its Facebook page at


No posts to display