GRAND LEDGE, Mich. — The single lane roundabout with three points of entry on M-43 at Timber Creek Drive is now open.
The roundabout project by Grand Ledge Public Schools cost about $900,000 and was designed to help with traffic flow and make getting to the schools easier.
There is a connecting road from M-43 to Beagle Elementary, which will become a middle school this fall, and to Grand Ledge High School.
"Traffic can now go on M-43 left and right. We haven't opened up our access road yet. We're still working on a little bit of the lighting, and we don't need it open yet," said John Ellsworth, the director of communications for Grand Ledge Public Schools.
The roundabout opened on July 23, which was ahead of schedule as it was expected to be complete by Labor Day. The school paid for the project through their bond fund. Ellsworth said the move was necessary in order to move some traffic off city streets.
"We have all sorts of extracurricular activities going on,"he said. "This will let traffic flow in and out. Before the roundabout, the only way to get to either of those buildings was through city streets."
Mark Rapelje, a 30-year resident of Grand Ledge, is happy to see the roundabout. He feels it will make city streets and school grounds safer and help with traffic flow. Rapelje said he has sat in numerous traffic backups when school had let out.
"Jenne Street is a main street coming out of downtown Grand Ledge, so if you go into downtown Grand Ledge for anything, you end up having to get stopped in this traffic. I myself have stopped and let buses four or five buses at a time come out of their driveway," Rapelje said.
Randy Thelen has also lived in Grand Ledge for decades. He said he likes the roundabout but does have one concern.
"It does take a learning period. So, there's people who haven't really driven them a lot who will need to learn how to drive them and drive them safely." he said.
Grand Ledge Public Schools start school on Sept. 7, and the access road from M-43 to Beagle Elementary will be open by the first day.
If you're looking for more information about roundabouts or guidance on how to navigate one, click here.
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