Roundabout way

Cars cross the intersection at Routes 11 and 37. Watertown Daily Times

WATERTOWN — The state Department of Transportation has begun work on a project to replace the “scissor” intersections on Route 11, north of the city, with a roundabout.

The $4.8 million project, which has been in the works since 2018, would replace the current intersection of Route 11 with Mill and LeRay streets, which come together in a complex, angular web of right-of-ways and yield signs, with what would become the city’s third roundabout.

“This project exemplifies the Department of Transportation’s commitment to making improvements to New York’s transportation network that ease travel by keeping commerce and people on the move,” state DOT Commissioner Marie T. Dominguez said in a prepared statement. “This new roundabout will improve traffic flow and enhance safety for North Country residents and visitors alike, while also improving access to Fort Drum and other commercial and retail centers in the region.”

Officials have said that the part of the highway, which includes the entrance and exit to the Seaway Plaza, has become congested and dangerous. Traffic accidents, some resulting in fatalities, have regularly occurred in the area for years.

According to a Thursday news release, the entrance to the Seaway Plaza will be moved to make it easier to access, sidewalk connections to the city will be improved, lighting will be added and landscaping work will be done. DOT officials say the renovations will improve the flow, speed and safety of movement through the intersection.

The project, which was initially expected to begin last spring and end by last fall, is expected to wrap up before the end of the year.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

I write about north country politics, Jefferson County and the northern shoreline towns of Lyme, Cape Vincent, Clayton and Alexandria Bay

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(1) comment


The UK is getting rid of their roundabouts. You would think that would be a hint to the US. Safety should take precedent in highway design. Traffic signals remove a large proportion of this risk and allow traffic flows to be controlled evenly at the same time. No-brainer for me.

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