The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recently began a pilot program to examine anew modular approach to construct mini roundabouts that use prefabricated materials, like raised islands made from engineered plastic developed from recycled plastic bottles, which will allow for ease of installation at a lower cost.
Wei Zhang, of FHWA, recently commented: “if the materials and design are successful, we may be able to consider similar modular roundabouts as an option where safety and congestion improvements are needed quickly.”
MTJ Roundabout Engineering, in conjunction with ZKxKZ, LLC of Lexington, MA, provided design support for the latest mini roundabout in this initiative located in Annandale, VA.
The previous intersection was dangerous for traffic entering from side streets, for making left turns, and particularly hazardous for pedestrians. The design and review of colors and specifications provided by MTJ were instrumental in creating a safer environment for all modes while preserving the capacity of the intersection. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) reported that this project required no new pavement, utility relocations, drainage, or other work which kept costs significantly lower than other alternatives.
To learn more about the project, or see a video, please use the following links:
For other questions, please contact leaders on the project team:
Mark Johnson, PE
MTJ Roundabout Engineering
Wei Zhang, PhD, PE
Terry Yates, PE