City of Conway and county officials celebrated the opening of the roundabout at the intersection of College Avenue and Salem Road with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday morning.

Mayor Bart Castleberry said he was excited for the opening of the new roundabout and that he wanted to thank county officials for their aid in this collaboration.

"It's been a real good investment [installing roundabouts]," he said. "I also want to take my hat off for a minute to thank County Judge Jim Baker for all the work the county has done for this."

County Attorney David Hogue said this improvement was yet another piece to multiple street project collaborations between the city of Conway and Faulkner County officials.

"This was one element of about a $7 million project with the city to improve roads that benefit both the city and the county over the last three years," he said.

The county paid for the roundabout project installed at the intersection of College Avenue and Salem Road. Records show the project cost the county $779,603.87.

By working together on the project, Hogue said the two governments are able to show they are willing to work together to tackle projects that benefit residents in the area.

Castleberry said the roundabout will help alleviate traffic congestion in west Conway and that more roundabouts are expected in the area in the future. A few upcoming roundabout include the intersections at College Avenue and Farris Road, College Avenue and Country Club Road, Prince Street and Country Club Road as well as Salem Road and Irby Drive.

"We've got some long range plans as well [including] ... look[ing] at widening Salem [Road] in conjunction with overlays and rebuilds," he said.

While these projects work to alleviate traffic congestion, Castleberry said including roundabouts throughout the city also improves public safety.

Street and Engineering Department Director Finley Vicnent said there are currently 21 roundabouts scattered throughout the city "not including neighborhood traffic circles, such as the ones on Irby [Drive]."

According to the US Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, roundabouts help to reduce traffic congestion, improve safety, reduce pollution and fuel use and allow cities to save money.

Statistics listed by the Federal Highway Administration show roundabouts reduce fatality crashes by more than 90 percent, reduce injury-included crashes by 76 percent and reduce the number of crashes reported overall by 35 percent.

Among projects city of Conway and county officials have collaborated on over the past three years include the Highway 25 extension, Amity Road Bridge and improvements to Empy Trail, Hogan Lane to Dave Ward, Padgett Road and Prince Street.