Pupils from Greenbrier schools will have the chance to design a unique piece of architecture on Riverwood Parkway.
Riverwood Plantation developers are offering pupils from Greenbrier Middle and High schools, and residents of the neighborhood, the opportunity to design a roundabout on Riverwood Parkway as part of a contest.
The contest will allow participants to design landscape plans in the middle section of the roundabout, which is about 75 feet in diameter. Landscaping plans can include features such as fountains, flagpoles or statues.
"Because it is such a prominent feature there at the entry on Riverwood Parkway, we thought it would be a good idea to bring the community in and the students who study at Greenbrier High School and Middle School," said Peter Slavovsky, an architect for Riverwood Plantation.
The roundabout, which is similar to traffic circles in Hilton Head Island, S.C., will resemble a wheel with four spokes and connect parts of Riverwood Village. It is intended to slow down traffic without stopping vehicles.
"We considered a traffic light, but no one really likes traffic lights in neighborhoods" Slavovsky said.
Crosswalks will be placed on all four roads before the roundabout is approached by vehicles.
"They're (roundabouts) a very good option to what we know in this country as standard traffic control, such as stop signs and traffic signals," said Glen Bollinger, Columbia County's traffic engineer.
Several thousand dollars have been spent on the roundabout to create a safe, attractive and maneuverable place for the village, said Wayne Millar, a Riverwood Plantation developer. Developers were required to perform traffic studies and relocate a main water line, he said.
Roundabouts are an environmentally friendly way of dealing with traffic, Millar said They create less fuel use and reduce the need to brake.
A panel from the community will help judge the contest. The first place designer will win a $500 prize. Second and third place will win golf for two at Champion's Retreat, Slavovsky said.
Slavovsky and Millar said they have received both positive and negative feedback from the community.
"It's a new thing. It's a change," Slavovsky said. "It's inconvenienced people because we've had to slow traffic down or stop traffic. Now that the paved area is finished and traffic is moving again, the phones are not ringing."
Bollinger warns that caution should be used before finalizing any landscape plans.
"You have to be careful," Bollinger said. "You want to be able to see across and see other cars. You don't want someone flying around the corner."
The contest had been expected to end Thursday, but Slavovsky said he is prolonging the deadline.
"We're getting ready to extend the contest by possibly two or three weeks just to give students, in particular, a little bit more time to think about it and come up with a plan," Slavovsky said.
Construction on the roundabout began in November. Slavovsky said the main structural portion is just about complete and they are in the process of laying brick on the outer part.
More information can be found at Riverwood Plantation's Web site, www.riverwoodplantation.com/contest.shtml.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.