People weigh in on proposed DeKalb County roundabout

Officials said about 10,000 vehicles drive through the intersection every day, and that is not counting when there is an event at the auction park.

Posted: Feb 4, 2019 11:05 PM

AUBURN, Ind. (WFFT) - Many people in DeKalb County spoke against a proposed roundabout near the Auburn Auction Park.

Officials said about 10,000 vehicles drive through the intersection every day, and that is not counting when there is an event at the auction park.

Developers for a new housing addition on County Road 427, Heron Lake, want to put in a roundabout at Country Road 11A.

The intersection was re-aligned in 2009/2010 when CR 11A was widened in front of the auction park.

Monday, DeKalb County Commissioners held a special meeting for people to express their support or opposition and to gather more information.

Few people spoke in favor of the proposal, including Nancy Colby who lives on CR 427.

"It will flow faster because people don't use their turn signals always so you don't know which way they are going to go," Colby said.

However, most people at the meeting spoke against a roundabout because of the existing traffic.

Arthur Hutter lives at the intersection, he said he's worried what having a round about outside his front door will do to his property values.

"We're going to have lights constantly sirrling around our properties. Completely around it so we aren't going to be able to enjoy our properties," said Hutter.

Many were also concerned about the number of crashes that would happen at CR 427 and CR 11A.

The U.S. Department of Transportation said "roundabouts cut down on the number and severity of conflict points." That means if crashes happen, they wouldn't be as severe.

That's why Heron Development managing partner Stephen Brown looked at options like a stop light, but decided a single lane roundabout would be the best option.

"Roundabouts of the larger radius sized, allows them to transfer a lot more traffic than what you can traditionally do at a stop sign," said Stephen Brown, Heron Development.

Heron Development would pay for the roundabout, and has been approved for funding from the DeKalb County Redevelopment Commission.

One commissioner at Monday's meeting said he'd support putting more money toward the project.

Brown said they would like to start construction this summer, but noted it won't interfere with the car auction and ACD Festival Labor Day weekend.

DeKalb County Commissioners will have final approval of the project because it is on a county road.

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