Branch County’s first traffic roundabout planned at Michigan Avenue and State Street in Coldwater will not be built next summer. The plans to scrap the idea came when

Jay Miller, County road commission Manager, said the estimates he made of the actual cost of the projected plans two years ago, turned out to be higher than expected.
Miller told township supervisors this week he estimated the cost to build it to be near $1 million. The proposal that was submitted to the Michigan Department of Transportation and the federal government was for $414,000. The source issued the following statement:
“I suspect we would have to pay the difference,” Miller said. “We can’t do that.”
In April, MDOT approved a federal grant for $327,600. The local match required was only $41,400 from the Branch County Road Commission budget.
Former manager Trent Arver applied for the roundabout in 2018 after the development in 2017 of a four-way stop at the intersection.
Then engineer Garrett Mylan said a crash analysis showed the intersection was tops in wrecks in Branch County from 2012 to 2017. The four-way stop reduced accidents.
The traffic circle plan was approved because design studies showed a roundabout was the safest option for the traffic in both directions and the fastest way to keep traffic moving.
One issue was the needed right-of-way. The roundabout takes almost twice the amount of area as a regular intersection to meet federal standards. Miller will make the recommendation to his board to give up the grant for the county primary roads.
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