Roundabout's makeover serves dual purpose

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By Carol A. Clark

One of the greatest roundabouts ever built in the U.S. is in Clearwater Beach, Fla. It carries up to 58,000 vehicles and 8,000 pedestrians per day. Palm trees sprout from the roundabout’s midsection, replacing a towering fountain deemed too distracting – and the cause of many a fender bender. Frequent wind gusts showering water onto passing cars and drenching pedestrians further contributed to the fountain’s demise.

The roundabout at the intersection of Diamond Drive and San Ildefonso Road carries up to 11,000 vehicles and less than 50 pedestrians daily. While clearly not as grand as Clearwater Beach, it is looking lusher than ever since Los Alamos County gave it a makeover.

Parks Division Manager Dick McIntyre designed the circular space now laced with varying types of shrubbery and a sprinkling of violet flowers that provide ground cover and frame three young Spruce trees.

Parks staff installed the landscaping and large tan boulders, which add another dimension to the design and stand ready to set off a bronze sculpture selected by the Art in Public Places Advisory Board.

The sculpture, titled, “Canyon Watch,” was approved by County Council in February not to exceed $60,000, including delivery and installation.

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