Bettendorf would add three traffic roundabouts under Forest Grove Drive and Middle Road intersection plan going before city council

Forest Grove Dr. and Middle Rd. corridor improvements projected at $11.46 million; city share estimated at $5.5 million

CLICK HERE to view web site created by project's engineering firm.

Bettendorf was one of the first communities in Iowa to install a traffic roundabout back in 2002.

Now nearly 20 years later, the city is planning to quadruple the number of roundabouts under a traffic plan being proposed for the congested Forest Grove Drive and Middle Road corridor.

Under the plan schedule to be reviewed Tuesday (6/1) by the city council, a new multi-lane roundabout is recommended to replace the traffic signal at the intersection of Middle Road and Forest Grove Drive as well as the planned traffic signal at Middle Road and Competition Drive.

A third roundabout, a single-lane version would be built at the intersection of Forest Grove and Championship Drive.

"It should be noted that traffic patterns in this area are quite unpredictable, leading to the selection of roundabouts as opposed to traffic signal," the engineering report to the council states. "The final traffic study for the project confirmed that roundabouts will provide a better level of service in addition to a higher degree of safety."

The Bettendorf sports complex at Forest Grove and Middle Road has been driving increased traffic in the area, along with greater residential developments both east and west of the sports complex along Forest Grove.

Part of the development agreement for the sports complex was that the Bettplex owners would help pay for reconstruction of the Forest Grove and Middle Road intersection. However, the city opted to install temporary traffic signals at the Forest Grove and Middle Road intersection while seeking federal funds to pay for the work.

The new roundabouts, if approved by the council, would be submitted for funding with federal dollars through the Iowa Department of Transportation. No estimate was given in the engineering report for the amount being sought from the IDOT for the improvements.

The initial estimate for upgrading the Forest Grove and Middle Road intersection under the development agreement between the city and the Bettplex owners was $1.15 million. In July of 2018, the city reported it expected to spend $607,000 for the intersection/roadway improvement as part of the development agreement.

Even at $607,000 for the intersection upgrade, city costs under the development agreement were $476,000 more than the $3.87 million cap specified as the city's contribution under the development agreement.

CLICK HERE for the most recent spreadsheet showing the Bettplex development agreement costs.

The city discussed the use of a roundabout at Middle Road and Crow Creek Road five years ago, but that plan never materialized.

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