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Commissioners to vote on official design consultant for Lehigh Acres roundabout

Posted at 7:55 PM, Feb 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-03 19:55:07-05

LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. — To make one Lehigh Acres intersection safer, Lee County Commissioners are taking the next step in the construction phase of a roundabout.

The roundabout will be constructed at the intersect of Buckingham and Gunnery Road.

On Tuesday, commissioners will be voting to hire the official consultant that will do the design for the project, which has been in the works for three-years.

Fred Ungerer, who's lived in the area for thirty-three years, says cars speeding at the intersection is a problem.

"Unfortunately, people tend to rush [past] that stop sign," said Ungerer.

Ungerer says it gets even worse during the morning and evening rush hours.

"I've personally seen ten cars run that stop sign every day," says Victor Herbert, who's lived in the area for fifteen years.

In the last three years, officials say there have been seventy car accidents at the intersection, resulting in two deaths.

"We want to make this intersection safer," said Brian Hamman, Lee County Commissioner.

For three years, county officials examined dangerous intersections that would benefit from a roundabout.

The Buckingham and Gunnery road ranked number two out of the eighteen evaluated.

However, Hamman says it's not just speeding cars that make this roadway dangerous.

"It's a weird, confusing, y-intersection, so I think a lot of times people don't know whether you're going to go straight or whether you're going to peel off, and they make the wrong judgment call and unfortunately end up crashing," said Hamman.

While the new single-lane roundabout wouldn't stop traffic, Hamman says it would help slow it down.

During Tuesday's Commissioner's meeting, commissioners will vote on whether to award a contract to Ayres Associates Inc. to provide design services for the single-lane roundabout.

"We have a preliminary design right now, but when you go to build an intersection, you have to do a lot more in-depth studies, so we'll hire those consultants tomorrow," said Hamman.

The design contract, with a negotiated total price of $410,423, would be funded through the Florida Department of Transportation.

"It's great when the state can partner with us to address some of these problem intersections."

Commissioner Hamman says the completion of the roundabout is still unknown but says it is part of a five-year project.