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Roundabout plans are in the works for intersection of Chapel and - KOAM TV 7

Roundabout plans are in the works for intersection of Chapel and Fir Roads in Carthage

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With a new 4th and 5th grade center in the works in Carthage, the school district also has a plan to ease a heavy traffic flow expected to come with the new facility.

When it comes to roundabouts, drivers tend to have different opinions.

"Roundabouts are wonderful," said Michelle Scheidegger, driver. "They save a lot of lives. They stop wrecks. They're wonderful."

"I think the roundabouts are going to kill somebody," said Wanda McBride, driver. "If you don't know how to use them, they're just hard to figure out."

School district officials say MoDOT has recommended the use of a single lane roundabout at the intersection of Chapel Road and Fir Road, instead of a traffic signal, near where a 4th and 5th grade center is scheduled to open in May of 2016.

"Right now, we're working on the plans, whether it be building plans, site plans, to make sure we have everything in control before we bid," said Dr. Mark Baker, Assistant Superintendent of Carthage R-9 School District.

The cost of the roundabout at the intersection has not been determined yet, but school district officials say it will be included in the overall cost of the 4th and 5th grade center project.

"The school is causing more traffic to flow in the area, so we would be responsible for it," Baker said.

Some drivers say they are happy with the plan.

"I think the roundabouts help traffic, as long as everyone understands how to use them," said Josh Hayes, driver.

Others fear Fir Road, also known as Highway HH, could draw in a lot of 18-wheelers.

"Especially working around this area, you get truckers, movers and RVs," said Faith Villagres, driver.  "To me, it's too dangerous because they could tip over and cause a lot of injuries to a lot of people."

School district officials say construction of the roundabout will begin as early as January.

"We're just trying to make things safer out on HH and Chapel and we think the roundabout and additional lanes that we plan to put on Chapel Road to the school will make it safer for our patrons and our buses to maneuver out there," Baker said.

The district plans to put bids out for the project next month and accept a general contractor by November.
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