HAYS, Kan. (KSNW) – Drivers in Hays will soon be seeing roundabouts on the busiest road in town.
U.S. Highway 183, also known as Vine Street, has the reputation of being the busiest road in Hays. It is also often known as the one with the most problems.
“Well, it’s a big mess driving on there,” Patrick McGinnis said.
“Vine is really treacherous to cross through during certain times of the day,” Brandon Taylor added.
But those problems could possibly come to an end for drivers like McGinnis and Taylor.
Last week, the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded the city a $6 million grant to go toward the city’s $7.5 million project to add three roundabouts on Highway 183.
The roundabouts will be added to intersections: 32nd and 33rd, 37th and 42nd street.
“With the roundabouts, it will be continuous smooth flow without backing up vehicles in long distances waiting for a light to turn,” City of Hays Project Manager John Braun said.
Braun told KSN Vine street has been a project they’ve worked on for well over 20 years to help elevate close proximity, traffic and wrecks.
“The frontage road and 32nd Street is probably the highest accident location in the city of Hays, and is significantly higher than the average across the state,” he said. “We want to make sure travelers, visitors and residents of Hays have a safe and accessible mobility to travel.”
However, residents and business owners said they are in circles about what they think of these new additions.
“Well, I know they work in the cities,” resident Karen Wallgreen said. “But, I don’t really know how they will work in a small town like Hays”
“I like them,” Taylor said. “Either we learn how to use roundabouts, or we continue to have accidents here on Vine Street.”
McGinnis also added he was in favor.
“I’ve seen roundabouts resolve issues in other cities, so I love the idea,” he said.
But Barbara Rupp said she thinks everyone will be confused about how to drive on them.
KSN also spoke to one business owner at one of the proposed roundabouts.
“I personally don’t like them, and I don’t think we need them because it’s going to cut my access in half,” business owner of Pheasant Run Scott Jordan said. “I’m not going to have access on the frontage roads to the hotels, which I do now. So yeah, it will impact my business.”
The project is expected to begin in spring of 2020 and will be completed within the next couple of years.
Braun said the city will hold public meetings, so the public can learn more about what the project entails.