GREEN  The city of Green has decided to revise the plans for Massillon Road north of Interstate 77 to include an additional roundabout at Raber Road.

The previous plan called for roundabouts at Stein Road and Route 619, but to widen the intersection at Raber and keep it signalized.

Early design work created three options for the project. They were:

- All three being signalized intersections.

- Two being roundabouts (Route 619 and Stein Road) and one a signalized intersection (Raber Road).

- All three being roundabouts.

Green City Engineer Paul Pickett said there have been several revisions to the plans, but the city will now go with the final option. Originally, the city planned to widen the Raber Road intersection and not include a roundabout, but changed course when it was determined a public road would have to be constructed on the west side of Massillon Road to accomodate the driveways of several businesses.

Pickett said everything revolves around capacity and planning for the future. He added that if the road had remained a signalized intersection, businesses in the shopping plaza at the intersection could have lost parking spaces. With the roundabout plan, the plaza will not lose any parking.

"The cost of construction of that public road and maintenance made us take a more serious look at a roundabout," Pickett said.

The roundabout at Stein will be like the one at the intersection of Steese Road and Massillon Road with two lanes northbound and southbound and one eastbound and westbound. The other two roundabouts will have two lanes northbound, southbound and westbound and one lane eastbound. 

"The same configuration would have been in place initially with the original proposal but the diameters were larger because the modeling showed they would have to be expanded in 10 years or so," Pickett said. "With the more accurate modeling of how multi-lane roundabouts are performing, it won't be necessary to expand them in 10 years, so the diameter can be smaller."

In addition to the roundabouts, Massillon Road north of the highway will be widened to two lanes in each direction and include a green space island in the middle to prevent left turns. There will also be some grading work done to take the elevation of the road down some for better sight for motorists.

A regular sidewalk is expected to be installed on the east side of the road along with a multi-use sidewalk on the south side of state Route 619 near the intersection to help connect neighboring housing developments.

Pickett said he knows not everyone prefers roundabouts, but he says statistics support that they are safer than signalized intersections. He predicts that younger drivers who are growing up with roundabouts will be more comfortable with them.

He added that most accidents that occur in a roundabout are minor and that drivers are encouraged not to change lanes while going through them.

"If everyone followed the pavement markings there wouldn’t be as many accidents," Pickett said.

The city is working with the Ohio Department of Transportation on the project as federal funds will pay for two-thirds of the $13.4 million cost.

The city plans to start acquiring right-of-way in 2018 and begin construction in either 2019 or 2020.