Department of Public Works

Shelburne Street Roundabout

Project Contact Information:

Local Project Managers: Olivia Darisse, P.E., and Laura Wheelock P.E.

VTrans Project Website: https://vtrans.vermont.gov/projects/burlington-roundabout

Email the Public Outreach Team: info@ShelburneStreetRoundabout.com

Telephone Hotline: 802-496-8956

The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) and the Burlington Department of Public Works (Burlington DPW) are improving roadway conditions for all users along US Route 7 (Shelburne Street) in Burlington. This joint initiative includes street reconstruction and the construction of a new single-lane roundabout at the intersectino of US Route 7 (South Willard Street), US ALT Route 7 (Shelburne Street), Ledge Road and Locust Street. The project also includes the addition of a designated left turn lane onto Ledge Road and the installation of new pedestrian and bicycle facilities. Furthermore, the project will improve signage, street lighting, drainage, stormwater runoff treatment, and relocate and consolidate utility transmissions underground. The project is currently out to bid (March 2021). Construction is expected to begin in Spring 2021 and continue through Fall 2023.

VIDEO: Shelburne Street Roundabout Introduction

VIDEO: Navigating the Shelburne Street Roundabout

PROJECT STATUS

 

The project contractor, S.D. Ireland (SDI), began project construction in late July 2021. The rotary was removed and the traffic pattern was converted to an intersection, which will remain during the first phase of the work. As of mid-August 2021, SDI is installing new municipal water and stormwater infrastructure along Gove Court and Locust Street. Parking and traffic is heavily impacted on these streets.

 

UPCOMING PUBLIC MEETINGS

 

None

 

PROJECT HISTORY

In March of 2002, Public Works staff began work with consultants and developed design alternatives and estimated project costs for improvements to the intersection of Shelburne Street, Saint Paul Street, Locust Street, South Willard Street and Ledge Road - the Shelburne Street Traffic Circle. Two alternatives were identified and described: a roundabout accommodating four or five of the streets and a signalized intersection accommodating four or five of the streets. The City pursued inclusion of the project in the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission (CCRPC) work plan to secure funds and position the project in the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) either as a highway project or with funds provided by the State of Vermont Enhancement program.

In early spring of 2007 the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) notified the City that this intersection had risen in prominence on the list of the State's high accident locations and that there were funds available to take corrective action. Since identification of the intersection as a high crash location, the 2002 Study needed to be reviewed and updated. City staff, VTrans staff and RPC staff met to identify actions required to update that work and hired Resource Systems Group (RSG) to complete the study and facilitate identification of a preferred alternative. The RSG process included:

  • Review past studies and intersection analyses
  • Prepare 2009 and 2019 Design year traffic volumes
  • Evaluate intersection traffic scenarios including signalized and roundabout design options
  • Prepare Interim Study Memo
  • Prepare detailed conceptual design drawings over orthophotos for the options that adequately improve traffic flow and safety through the study area
  • Present refined traffic analyses and conceptual designs to the Steering Committee
  • Finalize conceptual designs and prepare order of magnitude cost estimates
  • Meet with the public
  • Issue Final Study Report
  • Present the results of this work and identify a preferred alternative at a public meeting

PROJECT PURPOSE AND NEED

The Purpose and Need Statement for the project was developed in the initial 2002 Final Report of the Shelburne Road Rotary Project. 

The purpose of this project is to improve the junction of Shelburne Road (Route 7) and South Willard Road at the southern entrance to the City of Burlington, Vermont, for automobiles and pedestrians alike.

The need for this project is evidenced by the traffic back-ups that occur during peak commuting hours due to increased local traffic and commuters from adjacent towns; increase in traffic speeds; and the difficulty in crossing the roadway by pedestrians.

Since completion of the 2002 report, VTrans has identified the rotary as a high crash location. This required the purpose and need statement elevate the importance of addressing the specific deficiencies that caused this location to be designated a high crash location.

EXISTING CONDITIONS

The City of Burlington has four major accesses to the City and Route 7 serves as one. Particularly on the southern segment, Route 7 provides the primary transportation access to the western side of Vermont. Route 7 serves as the principal gateway to Burlington from the south. 

The current intersection of US Route 7, ALT US Route 7, Locust Street and Ledge Road is a 5-approach intersection in a residential neighborhood with schools and small businesses in the area. The rotary intersection is too small and restrictive for certain movements, and there is limited sight lines and sight distance. The existing intersection has developed user safety issues over the years due to a change in commuting patterns, high vehicular speeds, lack of dedicated bicycle facilities and difficulties for pedestrians crossing the streets. The intersection has been listed on VTrans’ High Crash Location list since at least 1998. In addition, the underground utilities are aging, and the area lacks modern stormwater treatment.

A 2002 Shelburne Street Rotary Report identified that during peak hours, cars experience difficulty entering the roadway from both local side street (Locust Street and Ledge Road) as well as the more significant city streets (South Willard and South Union). The Report identified the need for the roadway redesign evidenced by:

  • Frequent traffic jams, especially at South Willard Street causing delays;
  • Frequent interruptions in traffic flow;
  • Traffic that travels at inappropriately high speeds;
  • Poor access for pedestrians and bicyclists along the roadways and intersection;
  • Poor visual quality of the landscape and improvements at the intersection;
  • Difficulty experienced by motorists at egress of side streets near intersection.