Powell City Council members will consider a report about the effects a roundabout would have on a proposed Murphy Parkway extension as they consider the project's future.

Powell City Council members will consider a report about the effects a roundabout would have on a proposed Murphy Parkway extension as they consider the project's future.

The presentation, given April 20, compared a traditional T-intersection at Murphy Parkway and Liberty Road with building a roundabout there. Council made no decision after the presentation.

The presentation also included animations showing how the two types of intersections would work when a train crosses Liberty Road just north of the proposed site.

Steve Thieken of Burgess and Niple consulting engineers said the roundabout would require more land to construct and would have more impact on the area's streams and flood plain. It would reduce air and noise pollution because the vehicles won't have to make a complete stop.

The roundabout would cost about $300,000 more than a T-intersection, which was estimated several years ago to cost about $1.3-million.

Thieken said that roundabouts likely are safer than T-intersections because there are fewer points at which vehicles are likely to hit vehicles or pedestrians.

He also said studies in the United States on roundabout safety have "not been conclusive" because not enough data is available.

However, studies in Europe "at a wide variety of roundabouts have concluded roundabouts are safer for pedestrians," he said.

Last year, city council said it wanted to have a proposed Murphy Parkway extension to Liberty Road "shovel ready" in hopes of attracting federal stimulus dollars.

The city would need to have the project engineered, council said.

The engineering was estimated then to cost $190,000. The city can afford to pay that bill, but does not have the funds to pay for constructing the project.

The project is important for reducing traffic congestion in downtown Powell, officials have said.

It would provide a way for vehicles to reach South Liberty Road from the Sawmill Parkway area, and vice versa, without having to pass through downtown.

Last August, at a public meeting to discuss the extension, residents voiced dissatisfaction with the alignment of the proposed intersection of Murphy Parkway and Liberty Road that was adopted in 2004.

The adopted alignment has Liberty Road "T-ing" into Murphy Parkway, which would encourage the traffic flow to take Murphy Parkway.

Both council and residents said they preferred "T-ing" Murphy Parkway into Liberty Road, keeping the main north and south traffic flow on Liberty. However, many residents said they did not want Murphy Parkway extended at all.

The impact of using a roundabout also came up at the public meeting, prompting council to study it.

For $17,300, Burgess and Niple was paid $17,300 to perform and report on the effects of a roundabout at the proposed intersection.

The extension has been a part of city planning since 1995, city engineer Rob Rice said at the April 20 meeting.

bbutcher@thisweeknews.com