Construction on a new roundabout is about to begin in a high-traffic area between Woodland Elementary School and Alexandria Area High School.

The roundabout, designed to help traffic flow and promote safety, will be at the intersection of County Roads 23 and 46, also known as Hazel Hill Road and South McKay Avenue, southeast of Alexandria. It's located just east of the traffic lights at Pioneer Road and County Road 46.

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Starting Monday, June 26, the roads leading to the intersection will be closed as construction gets under way. County Road 46 (34th Avenue) will be closed at Pioneer Road; County Road 23 (Hazel Hill Road) will be closed at Rosewood Lane; and County Road 46 (South McKay Avenue) will be closed at 16th Ave.

Access to the Grace Baptist Church and four residences in the area will be from the east on Hazel Hill Road.

Detours will be in place, directing County Road 46 traffic onto Broadway and Third Avenue. No detour signs will be posted for County Road 23 but alternative routes are County Road 81 and Rosewood Lane, according to Public Works Director Dave Robley.

The project has a completion date of Sept. 1, Robley said.

Central Specialties of Alexandria is the contractor for the project. It submitted the lowest bid, $881,622, which was 32 percent less than the county's estimate of $1.3 million. The Douglas County Board awarded the bid.

This past April, a couple of county commissioners questioned whether the roundabout was the best option for the intersection. Robley told them it was. "It is the safest and most efficient solution," he said. "And our mission is to make our roads as safe as possible."

The county board wanted to start the project soon so it could be finished before the start of the next school year.