Safety improvements are in the works for a busy intersection at the Lake of the Ozarks.

Safety improvements are in the works for a busy intersection at the Lake of the Ozarks.

A mini-roundabout will be installed at the intersection of Route W and Business 54 in Lake Ozark in an effort to move traffic more quickly and safely in the area.

The roundabout work will begin at 10 p.m. on May 19 and end before 5 a.m. on May 20, weather permitting. The striping will require temporary lane closures, so motorists are advised to take an alternate route around the intersection.

In this location, the roundabout will be painted on the existing pavement and will eliminate the stop sign at Route W and Business 54. The center of the roundabout will be flat to allow big trucks and vehicles pulling trailers to make the turns without hitting a raised surface. A diagram showing the Route W and Business 54 roundabout can be found at

While this intersection is a little bit different than some because it has three legs instead of four, the roundabout operates the same. Here’s how it works: Vehicles approaching the roundabout will make a right turn and move in a counter-clockwise direction through the intersection. All entering traffic yields to the traffic already in the circle.

Because the roundabout is designed to allow for the free flow of traffic, congestion and delays are reduced. For example, if there is no traffic in the circle you do not have to stop, thereby reducing your delay time. In addition, the roundabout decreases the number of spots where vehicles could collide - such as left turns — which reduces the chance for crashes.

“Once people get used to the new driving pattern at the intersection, we think they’ll be pleased with the results,” said Missouri Department of Transportation Area Engineer Bob Lynch. “They’ll move through the area with fewer delays and have less chance of hitting someone or being hit.”

In the past five years, the Route W and Business 54 intersection, which carries an average of 7,000 to 11,000 vehicles a day, has been the site of more than 40 crashes — mostly left-turn collisions. Fortunately, none of the crashes has resulted in fatalities or disabling injuries.

A flier and video explaining the benefits of roundabouts and how they work, can be found on MoDOT’s website at /central.