New intersection may be in service by the new year

Cleveland roundabout

Construction work began recently on the roundabout location in Cleveland. The line of striped barrels delineate the path of one of the diversion lanes connecting Ala 79 going south to Ala 160 going west.

Construction work began recently on the roundabout location in Cleveland. The line of striped barrels delineate the path of one of the diversion lanes connecting Ala 79 going south to Ala 160 going west.

The Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) roundabout project at the Ala 79/ Ala 160 intersection in Cleveland is scheduled for completion at the end of 2019, according to ALDOT Oneonta district engineer Russell Taylor. But that’s not a money-back guarantee, he said, in words to that effect. The joker in the deck is the weather, and the weather is not dancing to anyone’s tune. Heavy or frequent rain will delay the opening, because heavy equipment cannot work until conditions dry out.

Meanwhile, diversion lanes are being completed for the approaches to the intersection, the existing stoplight has been removed from the intersection proper, and temporary traffic control lights have been installed on the diversion lanes to handle traffic flow while the center of the roundabout is constructed and final paving is done. The completed diversion lanes should be ready in two to three weeks, Taylor said.

Taylor said plans for the center of the roundabout call for a “grassed interchange.” Some citizens have speculated that it might be planted with seasonal flowers – among other more facetious options that have been envisioned – according to Cleveland Mayor Jerry Jones.

“I’ve heard no discussion about any provision for flowers or anything else other than the grassed middle called for on the plans,” Taylor said. “I can tell you there will be no structure of any kind in the roundabout that would create a distraction to drivers,” he said.