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Davidson River Village Connector Roundabout

Project Details

Client/Owner

North Carolina Department of Transportation

Location

Brevard, NC

Designing one of the first dual-lane roundabouts in the region

The Davidson River Village Connector is a new location roadway in the City of Brevard connecting US 64/276 and US 64. The project originally proposed a signal at the new T-intersection of US 64/276. While construction was underway, the city requested the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) Division 14 to revise the intersection design to a roundabout. RS&H was tasked with designing the roundabout from preliminary plans to the final construction revision.

Efficient teamwork enabled timely and cost-effective solutions

With the project already underway, the roundabout design was fast-tracked to avoid delays for the contractor. The successful completion of the project within the tight timeframe was made possible through:

  • Extensive Stakeholder Coordination: Close collaboration with NCDOT, the City of Brevard, and subconsultants kept all parties aligned and informed.
  • Preliminary Concept Utilization: Right-of-way and easements were acquired using a preliminary concept. This approach required extensive review and development of the concept to address factors that could impact right-of-way and easements such as additional pavement for traffic maintenance, drainage and erosion control, and sufficient space for relocating utilities.
  • Integrated Landscaping Design: Coordination with the city’s landscape architect firm seamlessly incorporated landscaping, lighting, and irrigation into the project for enhanced aesthetic appeal.
  • Flexible Contracting: A cost-plus not-to-exceed contract allowed for immediate addressing of unforeseen issues, bypassing the process of requesting and receiving supplements.
  • Frequent Status Meetings: Weekly project status meetings, rather than the standard monthly ones, facilitated continuous communication and rapid decision-making.

Within just 10 months, the project site was surveyed, the roundabout was designed, right-of-way and easements were acquired, environmental documents were updated, and conflicting utilities were relocated. This efficient process saved significant time and kept the project within budget.

Prioritizing safety through contextual assessment and stakeholder feedback

A comprehensive assessment of the surrounding areas and vehicle types was essential for the success of this project near the entrance of Pisgah National Forest. Frequented by tourists on foot and tractor-trailers, this intersection, one of the region’s first dual-lane roundabouts, required careful design to accommodate unfamiliar drivers and large vehicles.

Special signs were implemented to address tractor-trailer movements specifically. One sign warns drivers to avoid the intersection near tractor-trailers, ensuring they have the necessary space to navigate. Another sign directs tractor-trailers to use the roundabout instead of making immediate right turns. Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons at crosswalks alert motorists to pedestrians, enhancing safety without causing traffic delays.

Safety was prioritized in every decision, with a third-party firm specializing in roundabouts conducting a review due to the condensed project timeline. Extensive checks of turning movements and pavement markings confirmed proper vehicle alignment for safe side-by-side navigation through the roundabout. The landscaping design was carefully reviewed to maintain adequate sight distance and clear recovery areas.

Quality outcomes for the client and the community

Construction quality and craftsmanship were evident, with minimal issues arising during the build phase, highlighting the thoroughness and constructability of the plans. The roundabout’s functional and aesthetic design, including signage, native plants, and a stormwater system to prevent ponding, provided a safe, efficient, and visually appealing intersection. The project team’s meticulous planning and execution minimized the impact on adjacent homes, underscoring their commitment to quality and community impact.

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