POLAND, Ohio (WYTV) – If you drive down Western Reserve, Springfield or North Lima roads through Boardman and Poland, you’ll probably hit the intersection known as 5 Points.
The intersection splits off into five legs with five stop signs.
Currently, all that controls the flow of traffic at 5 Points is drivers using their own judgment and stop signs, which doesn’t always turn out safely.
People say the confusion is always chaos or a disaster waiting to happen, and engineers found that at certain times of the day, the intersection gets dangerous to use.
Accident numbers are increasing as the population in the Boardman, Poland and Springfield township areas increases too.
“There’s times I come out in the morning and there’s 60 cars lining up to go up the road,” said Bob Black, of Beaver Township.
“To put a signal here would be very challenging and it wouldn’t reduce the congestion and it may increase the number of accidents,” said Mahoning County Engineer Pat Ginnetti.
They eventually landed on the idea of building a roundabout.
“It continuously moves traffic through the intersection and slows the traffic down at safe speeds going through the circle. So it’s going to allow traffic to continuously flow,” Ginnetti said. “What it does also is it minimizes the number of movements that a car needs to make or a person driving needs to look.”
The project will cost about $1.5 million, but will be federally funded. Construction is expected to start in 2019.
“My biggest anxiousness is the construction of it, how it’s going to shut down certain side roads,” said Nancy Popovich, of Springfield Township.
But, Ginnetti says not all of the roads will shut down during construction, which will be done in two separate phases.
“We’re going to maintain two lanes throughout the entire project, so we’re not going to do a full closure. We’re going to allow traffic to flow through but like any construction project, it’s going to pose a temporary inconvenience,” Ginnetti said.
The phases will be broken up into the northern and southern halves of Western Reserve Road.
During each phase, the detours and roads that will be open will change — traffic detours will be moved to the opposite side of the phase being worked on.