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February 18, 2020

New roundabout proposal for Metz Road

SOLEDAD — A new traffic roundabout could be on its way, as the City of Soledad approved a grant agreement to bring in a roundabout that would reduce motor vehicle emissions on Metz Road and East Street.

At the February city council meeting, city staff brought forward a proposal for a roundabout on Metz Road and East Street. The roundabout is part of a traffic control contract the council awarded to Yamabe and Horn in 2016. Yamabe and Horn have completed the design for the “best intersection control” and are waiting for PG&E to move a power pole before they can bid the project out and build it.

“One of the conditions of Miraville II was we do some intersection improvements before it was built out,” said Donald Wilcox, public works director. “We did an intersection control evaluation several years ago to see what traffic control device would be best suited there. We came back with a recommendation from TAMC as well as our traffic consultant that a roundabout is needed there.”

The design firm also prepared an application for the city to submit for a grant through AB2766 Motor Vehicle Emissions Reduction Program Grant with Monterey Bay Air Resources in the amount of $400,000 to help with the costs of the roundabout, which is said to reduce vehicle emissions and meet the grant conditions. The City was awarded $130,745 in grants to help fund the project.

The estimated project cost is $920,000.

The roundabout is also aimed at the amount of traffic Metz Road sees during school pickup and dropoff hours.

“Roundabouts do save emissions and if it had been a signal project, we may not have gotten the award,” Wilcox said.

The project includes upgrading and reconstructing the existing four-way stop intersection at East Street and Metz Road with a roundabout.

According to the city staff report, the roundabout would have curb extensions with Americans with Disabilities Act accessible ramps, pedestrian refuge islands at each proposed crossing and have a mountable interior section to allow for buses, emergency vehicles and large trucks to safely navigate the turns. New roadway striping and way-finding signage would also be supplied for drivers.

The roundabout project is aiming to be completed by 2021 but could change depending on when PG&E moves the power pole.

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