SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A project in Springfield will rebuild the intersection of Glenstone at Republic Road and create one of the biggest roundabouts in the state.

The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) will begin by widening James River Freeway to six lanes between 65 and National Avenue.

Glenstone, Republic Road, Nature Center Way and the Eastbound Freeway off-ramps will be accessible by the roundabout.

MoDOT said roundabouts are safer and have better traffic flow compared to traffic lights.

Since traffic no longer has to turn in front of each other and speeds are reduced, reports find a nearly 80% decrease in severe crashes at intersections converted to roundabouts.

In Willard, three roundabouts have opened recently on Highway 160.

“The accidents that occurred in our intersections on 160 before were in a 60 mile an hour zone that resulted in some significant injury and fatality,” said Tom McClain, the Willard police chief. “These accidents are much much slower speed accidents, so the likelihood of severe injury is minimized significantly.”

The freeway expansion and new roundabout are set to be done sometime in May 2022.

MoDOT has more information and an animation of what the new roads will look like on its website.