A project nearly five years in the making is wrapping up in Paso Robles. A roundabout will take the place of what used to be a four-way stop at the corner of Golden Hill and Union roads.
Paving work that was originally set for February was delayed by heavy rain but should finish up this week.
The dog bone design aims to mitigate a nasty traffic issue facing the area. The original intersection layout sat in a skewed formation, preventing city engineers from gaining the necessary square footage to create a 90-degree angle intersection.
"The best we could do was a 65-degree angle and that could work but not really ideal and in addition, we would have had to acquire many properties around that area so it became very cost prohibitive," explained Ditas Esperanza, City of Paso Robles Capital Projects Engineer.
Opting for the figure eight design saved the city millions of dollars. City officials say traffic lights at that intersection would have cost about $12-15 million while the roundabout set them back just $6-8 million.
The city's residents are hoping for the best but anxious about the results.
"I think it's definitely gonna take a bit of time for people to get used to but it looks really good but also confusing," said Valerie Nano, Nano Coffee employee.
While paving is finishing up this week, there are still some final touches the city needs to make before the roundabout will be open to the public. Once they’ve added lights, signs, and stripes they’re aiming for a summer opening date in either June or July.
The city collects development impact fees from developers before they can gain their certificate of occupancy which is how the bulk of the project is being funded.