DOTD breaks ground on U.S. 171/La. 8/28 roundabout project in Leesville
Tuesday, October 26, 2010 at 12:17:51 PM

DOTD breaks ground on U.S. 171/La. 8/28 roundabout project in Leesville

LEESVILLE, La. – Today, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) hosted a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the start of construction on a project to install a roundabout at the intersection of U.S. 171/La. 8/28. The ceremony was held at the Vernon Parish Chamber of Commerce, where DOTD Legislative Liaison Roy Quezaire was joined by Leesville Mayor C. Robert Rose, Market Basket Louisiana Division Manager Roger Hebert, DOTD District 08 Administrator Nicholas Verret and Vernon Parish Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Eddie Wise.

The existing signalized T-intersection of U.S. 171 with La. 8/28 will be converted into a two-lane, four-legged modern roundabout. A portion of the project will include the intersection of a new side road to be constructed as part of the new Market Basket food store development adjacent to the west side of U.S. 171.

The project, which was awarded to Diamond B Construction for $2.1 million, will be constructed in two phases. In an effort to minimize the impact on the traveling public, the first phase will construct the west side of the new intersection while maintaining traffic on the east side. The second phase will shift traffic to the west side while constructing the new east side. Construction of the roundabout is expected to be complete in spring 2011.

DOTD Secretary Sherri H. LeBas said, "Roundabouts are an innovative and cost effective tool to increase safety, improve traffic flow and enhance the aesthetics of an intersection. We are excited to begin construction on the Leesville roundabout and look forward to installing additional roundabouts across the state where appropriate."

Roundabouts offer a smoother flow of traffic with less stop-and-go than a signalized intersection and increase safety with lower speeds and typically less severe crashes. Statistics show that roundabouts can reduce fatalities by up to 90% and injury crashes by up to 75%.

Modern roundabouts should not be confused with older-style traffic circles and rotaries, such as the South Circle in Alexandria. A modern roundabout is more compact, which helps keeps speeds low and makes it easier for drivers to stay oriented and judge the speed of vehicles before entering. Modern roundabouts also require traffic to yield before entering whereas traffic circles and rotaries often require vehicles to merge into traffic.

For questions or to sign up to receive periodic e-mail updates about the project, contact DOTD’s Customer Service Center at 1-877-4LA-DOTD (1-877-452-3683) or by e-mail at The center is open 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Learn more about the job by visiting the project’s Web page at Click on "Projects" from the "Programs & Projects" section of the main menu on the left-hand side of the page and select the "US-171/LA 8/28 Roundabout in Leesville" link.

You can also follow the U.S. 171/La. 8/28 roundabout project in Leesville and other roundabout projects in Louisiana on Facebook. Once you open a Facebook account, project information can be accessed by entering "Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development" into the search field and clicking on the "Roundabouts" tab.

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) is committed to delivering transportation and public works systems that enhance the quality of life. In addition to more than 16,600 miles of roadway, including over 890 miles of interstate, DOTD supports the development of the state’s aviation, marine and rail infrastructures. Through this work, we are able to facilitate economic development, create job opportunities, improve vital evacuation routes, and make critical freight corridors safer and more efficient.

For more information, please visit, email, or call DOTD’s Customer Service Center at (225) 379-1232 or 1-877-4LADOTD (1-877-452-3683). Business hours are 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Motorists can access up-to-date travel information by dialing 511 or by visiting Out-of-state travelers can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511).