A rendering over the Hanson Street/Highland Drive intersection shows where a potential roundabout could be if the city decides to go that route.
A rendering over the Hanson Street/Highland Drive intersection shows where a potential roundabout could be if the city decides to go that route.
The city of Winnemucca is exploring options to modify the three-way intersection at Hanson Street and Highland Drive in Winnemucca to lessen traffic hazards and the solution may be a roundabout. 

The intersection includes a stop at the top of Hanson Street, a yield at the bottom of Water Canyon Road and a right-of-way flow of traffic coming from Highland Drive. 

City officials said that the new dispensary has also added another safety concern to the mix, with traffic turning from Highland to Hanson without being able to see whether cars are coming and out of the dispensary driveway on Hanson. 

Winnemucca City Manager/Engineer Alicia Heiser told city council that she has received several phone calls lately with citizens concerned about the safety of the intersection.

Officials said that the intersection seems to be most problematic for people who don’t live in Winnemucca and aren’t used to the flow of traffic.

Heiser said that some members of the public have asked for a three-way stop to alleviate the hazard and concerns. She said the three-way stop option may be a good temporary solution and thinks that a roundabout may be a good long-term solution. 

“A regular four-way intersection has 32 conflict points and a roundabout has only eight, so it decreases the risk for an accident,” said Heiser. 

With the roundabout, the three streets previously mentioned and Offenhauser Drive would enter into the roundabout, and another driveway could be added if ever needed. 

The challenge with adding a roundabout at the intersection is the space needed for construction, which may include negotiations of tribal land to one side.

City Council Member Paige Brooks said that in her 12 years on the council, the topic of a roundabout in that location has been discussed several times, with the biggest challenge being the space needed the tribal land. 

Heiser said construction for a roundabout would cost approximately $500,000-750,000 which would be paid out of the RTC fund rather than the general fund, includes survey work, landscaping the center of the roundabout and realignment of the roadways. 

Council members also talked about the 35 mile-per-hour speed zone on Hanson Street and Water Canyon Road that also creates another hazard when people go above the speed limit.

Heiser told council members that she would talk with the property owners and the tribe and report back. 

Council members decided not to make any immediate changes to the intersection to avoid making it more confusing for residents and visitors.