A new I-5 offramp at Deschutes road in Anderson was ceremonially opened today.
It features a new roundabout at the intersection of Deschutes and Locust roads and is designed to both decrease the time needed to get to commercial areas in South Anderson and make it easier to get onto I-5.
Project officials cut the ribbon officially opening the offramp around 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday.
Anderson City Manager Jeff Kiser says the roundabout was designed with trucks in mind.
“In the center of the roundabout there's a concrete apron that's meant for the trailers to offtrack.” Says Kiser, “and then at the bottom of the offramp is a bypass for the trucks that are going on locust.”
The roundabout design was chosen because it would have been more than $20 million more expensive to put in a traffic light and officials say the intersection is too busy for a stop sign to handle the traffic efficiently.
According to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, this design is called a roundabout and not a traffic circle because it is designed to be as small as possible and will operate at speeds of about 15-25 mph.
Traffic circles, on the other hand, are much larger and are designed to handle speeds of up to 50 mph.
Compared with intersections, roundabouts, reduce injurious crashes by 75% and reduce traffic fatalities by 90%.
The Mythbusters also tested roundabouts vs. a 4-way intersection and found that they were 17% more efficient for traffic flow.