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Roundabout Construction at U.S. 1 and Old Dixie Begins in Weeks; Expect Detours

| November 29, 2018

old dixie highway roundabout

The last serious traffic crash at the U.S. 1-Old Dixie Highway intersection took place just last September, sending three people to the hospital. Construction of the roundabout at the intersection starts in December and will stretch to the beginning in 2020. (© FlaglerLive)

Construction on the roundabout at U.S. 1 and Old Dixie Highway will begin next month–with actual visible construction starting likely on Jan. 7–and stretch over 15 months, the Florida Department of Transportation told county officials in recent meetings and residents neighboring the project through flyers.


The project is now projected to cost $4.1 million, up from $2.9 million just last January when the department unveiled plans at a meeting of Flagler residents near the project grounds.

Residents at that meeting and another unveiling in August of a planned roundabout at Matanzas Woods Parkway and U.S. 1 have been largely opposed to roundabouts. But transportation departments in Florida and other states are increasingly building roundabouts as a safer alternative to crash-prone intersections. Evidence points to dramatic declines in t-bone crashes and fatal crashes at intersections where roundabouts replace are built.

The Old Dixie-U.S.1 intersection is among the most dangerous in the county, with six fatalities in 2016 alone and the most recent serious crash, last September, sending three motorists to the hospital. The intersection is also the end point for County Road 325, which intersects with Old Dixie Highway just before U.S. 1, adding to drivers’ potential confusion.

Sheriff Rick Staly pressured transportation officials for safety improvements at the intersection, as did other officials, though none locally explicitly favored the roundabout option, hewing closer to the addition of traffic lights or the re-engineering of the intersection. Opposition to the transportation department’s plans waned somewhat since initial backlashes, and the sheriff himself said he would not second-guess the department’s approach.

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The roundabout at Old Dixie and U.S. 1 will be the first on any major roadway in the county or in any of its cities. Palm Coast has a few roundabouts in Town Center, but either in a parking lot or on relatively lightly traveled Town Center Boulevard and Central Avenue. The roundabouts have been the scene of light crashes, but no serious crashes, and no recorded fatality since Town Center opened well over a decade ago ago.

At Old Dixie Highway, “the project is going to be done in phases,” County Engineer Faith al-Khatib said today. “Sometimes they’re going to be having detours, yes.” The transportation department says the project will be carried out in four phases, so U.S. 1 itself will never be shut down. But speed limits there will be reduced from the current 65 mph.

“At various times during construction, drivers can expect lane shifts, changing traffic patterns and detours on U.S. 1 and Old Dixie Highway,” the flier the transportation department has been disseminating to residents since last week cautions. “Electronic message boards and other signage will be in place to assist drivers.” Work may take place during the day or night.

The project was awarded to P & S Paving of Daytona Beach, the company that resurfaces Palm Coast’s roads and rebuilt the Bulldog Drive‘s entrance into Town Center. The flier describes the project’s scope. “The roundabout will accommodate two travel lanes on northbound U.S. 1 and will include a bypass lane for southbound U.S. 1 traffic traveling through the intersection,” it states. “Both Old Dixie Highway and C.R. 325 will connect directly to U.S. 1. The project also includes drainage improvements, landscaping in the center of the roundabout and new lighting, as well as signing and pavement markings.”

Residents will see construction activity along a 1.4-mile stretch that includes milling and resurfacing, road-base work, shoulder work, drainage improvements, new lighting and highway signs and other construction.

Once construction is completed, drivers will be required to slow down to 25 mph to take the roundabout. Markings on the road will guide drivers to the appropriate lanes.

“It’s going to be after the first of the year, it’s early January, it could be right around the 7th is what we’re looking at,” Steve Olsen, the transportation department’s spokesperson, said. Message boards may go up sooner. “The notice to proceed is December, but the actual work will probably start after the first of the year. Once notice to proceed has been issued, the actual clock for the contractor is ticking.” The contractor has just over 400 days to finish the work.

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26 Responses for “Roundabout Construction at U.S. 1 and Old Dixie Begins in Weeks; Expect Detours”

  1. Annoyed says:

    All that intersection needs is a simple traffic light. Not a 4.1 million dollar, 15 month project for a roundabout that no one knows how to use properly anyway. It’s a waste of money and will cause more accidents.

  2. Resident says:

    Another wasteful project when red lights would be much more efficient and less dangerous. Way to go wasting taxpayers money on yet another project that will cause more accidents instead of reducing them!

  3. no no no says:

    There needs to be a class on how a roundabout works. It is obvious from driving the one at Town Center on a daily basis that not everyone knows the rules.

  4. Steve Vanne says:

    What a total waste of money and time. This is going to cause more problem then its going to help. Just think your going 65mph or more and all of a sudden you have to slow down and go around this thing. People can’t use the roundabout on town center blvd and central ave I see this everyday because I travel everyday on this road. Just don’t know way they just can’t put traffic lights there seems it would cost much much less than spending all this money. Thats right the tax payer is paying this bill.

  5. Louis Lashinsky says:

    With over 30 years experience in Highway and Bridge construction and 6 years as an expert witness regarding accidents in Florida a roundabout is by far the safest way to egress into and out of an intersection. I attended the meeting with FDOT at the church and the additional cost is due to the bypass lane that was not included in the original proposal. The bypass was added due to the vast majority of the attendees being against the roundabout. FDOT is doing what is prudent for safety and G_d willing the life it saves could be any of ours.

  6. Wow says:

    No one sees a problem having cars going 70-75 suddenly approaching a 25 mph zone?

  7. Peaches McGee says:

    Roundabouts have been proven over and over again.

    Drivers don’t stop at stop signs or red lights.

  8. Dave says:

    Finally this is much needed, with a round about no one ever has to stop completely and traffic stays flowing!

  9. Aye says:

    Who’s the dumbass that thought about a roundabout on a busy highway?

  10. snapperhead says:

    So if roundabouts are so much safer than a traffic light, shouldn’t there be a roundabout at Seminole Woods Blvd, Belle Terre Parkway, Royal Palms Parkway, Whiteview Parkway and Palm Coast Parkway along US 1?

  11. Dave S, Palm Coast Florida says:

    I’d rather slow down for a roundabout than have to stop and wait for a minute or two at a traffic light!

  12. mark101 says:

    Hey WOW, yep. they are already speeding and the speed limit is 65 going south say from the Seminole Woods turn onto S US1. Coming the other way its 60mph going from south to north on US 1 around the Moonshine event ;location, it doesn’t go back to 65 mph until you go past 900 ft past the bar. So maybe these speeders are half the problem.

  13. yankeeexpat says:

    Floridians are not equipped, (poor driving skills) to use a roundabout.

    Let the carnage begin!, Palmcoaster’s

  14. Paula says:

    Omg you’ve got to be kidding… no one knows how to drive these days on regular roads… let alone a round about!@$% it’s unbelievable that politicians so quickly forget the round about in Daytona at ballogh rd where the seabreeze bridge is now had to be removed because of constant accidents… people are too ignorant, impatient, and uneducated to properly use a roundabout. This is ridiculous and will only benefit pain doctors, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, and lawyers who’s lobbyists are probably directly related to this proposal getting passed!!!! Disgusting waste of tax payers money to build this monstrosity and will continue to hurt the working class for decades to come with the accidents, road closures, traffic delays, and the other collateral damage that will definitely arise from such poor planning.

  15. Alphonse Abonte says:

    People do not like change, no matter how minor or complex. People make excuses why not to change, even though it MAY be better. It can be looked at a positive or a negative. Positive, it can save lives. Negative, it costs too much, time is a factor. So, would you rather save a life or save money? The choice is yours.

  16. MR G says:

    so stupid RED LIGHT IS ALL THAT WAS NEEDED Keep an Eye for the STUPID ACCD’s After the install of this dumb fix……

  17. palmcoaster says:

    First thing come to mind is: did the residents disliking the roundabout attend the meetings were this plan was discussed? If the answer is NO means you guys just gave it green light. Growth and change in this county is inevitable (just look at all the vacant lands) but by attending those growth planned meetings we maybe able to have a say how that growth should be planned in order not to take away our existing services and our quality of life.

  18. mark101 says:

    @palmcoaster,there is nothing a group of people can do if the DOT decides to change a traffic pattern, which in this case is based on accidents.

  19. WERE ALL GONNA DIE!!! says:

    Whadaya get when you force overweight Semis avoiding the Weighstation, your average Speeders, Drunken wannabe bikers pulling in and outa a honky tonk, rich folk from Plantation Bay after 18 holes and a couple martini’s and whirl them all in a blender???

    Well my neighbors, Looks like sure as shit we are all going to find out!!!

    FlaglerLive, when completed, you might as well camp out there w/ your camera and save the gas.

    • FlaglerLive says:

      We’re pretty certain and thankful that we’ll need to report on fatal crashes far less from that location, once the roundabout is in place, than we unfortunately have over the past several years.

  20. Dave says:

    This is great! Could you imagine having to stop for a light and wait? Now we can all just keep it moving! It is humorous how many people in the comments dont think they will be able to drive in this roundabout, just makes me think they shouldn’t be driving if they cant hand a simple circle.

  21. Scott Batson says:

    Modern roundabouts are the safest form of intersection in the world with less daily delay than comparable signals.

  22. Linda Morgan says:

    I’m not particularly happy with the “round about” but what worries me the most is the timing. Bike week will be here March 8th in addition to our tourist season still being in full swing!! The traffic numbers will be at it’s highest on US 1. Has anyone considered this?

  23. Great Idea to submit: says:

    Make the center of the circle a big fat yellow “H” so Dana can land Fireflight there a couple times each day to evacuate the dying wounded to area hospitals. And definately, no matter what put a fish eye video camera up on a pole, we don’t want to miss a second of action in Flagler’s own demolition derby!

  24. Agkistrodon says:

    @yankeeexpat, I lived in Mass(NOT ORIG. FROM MASS!) for 10 years before I moved here. I have seen NUMEROUS accidents on Rotaries/Roundabouts there, so, what’s up with that?

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