In the past year, homeowners near a busy Greenwood intersection say they’ve witnessed at least four car crashes.
Now, they are eagerly anticipating the completion of a new roundabout under construction at Smith Valley and Yorktown roads, which is set to be completed by Friday. Though the project made them lose about a quarter of their backyard and brings the road closer to their home, they hope the intersection will be safer to drive through.
“We will feel a bit safer leaving the neighborhood,” Keith Huesman said.
Previously, the intersection was a two-way stop, with traffic on Yorktown Road yielding to traffic on Smith Valley Road. The $1.6 million project, for which the city paid about $590,000, adds a one-lane roundabout, moving traffic through the intersection that nearly 15,000 cars drive through a day.
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Huesman had asked the city for a stoplight at the intersection to make it safer, but the city opted to bring a roundabout to that intersection instead.
But the roundabout will solve those safety concerns by giving drivers on Yorktown Road a safer way to turn onto Smith Valley Road. For Huesman and his wife, Debby, that means getting out of their home at the northwest corner of the intersection will be much easier.
The roundabout at the Smith Valley and Yorktown roads will be Greenwood’s third. The other two are at Main Street and Averitt Road and at Worthsville and Sheek roads. Future roundabouts are planned at the intersections of Smith Valley Road and Madison Avenue, as well as Main Street and Meadowview Lane. City officials have said roundabouts make intersections safer because they limit the amount and severity of accidents.
Keith and Debby Huesman have lived at the intersection for more than three decades. Since they moved into their home, they’ve seen the previously rural area develop around them.
The city purchased land at the corner of their backyard for the construction of the roundabout, Keith Huesman said.
Access to their home hasn’t been too much of a challenge during the construction the past two months. They’ve just had to take a detour through their neighborhood.
One potential concern is how light from the cars driving through the roundabout will impact them, since the new angles of cars driving through the intersection could result in headlights shining directly toward the windows on the back of their house. Once the roundabout is open, they are considering installing a privacy fence on the side of their yard that faces the intersection to help limit some of the light, Keith Huesman said.