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Roundabout coming soon to dangerous MN intersection

"It’s always been a stop where there’s always accidents, always ambulances going down there."

Posted: Apr. 25, 2018 7:44 AM
Updated: Apr. 25, 2018 8:05 AM

EYOTA, Minn. – Neighbors know to just how dangerous the intersection of Minnesota Highway 42 and Olmsted County Road 9 can be.

“I go through there all the time, it’s always been a stop where there’s always accidents, always ambulances going down there,” Andrew Finley, who lives just about a mile down from the intersection, said.

“When they put the lights in I think it confused a lot of people,” a nearby resident of the intersection said.

State and county officials noticed it too, and decided it was time to take action.

“It had had some recent crashes, including a fatal and serious injury crash in 2015. We discussed with Olmsted County what we could do and felt a roundabout was a good plan,” Mike Dougherty with Minnesota Department of Transportation said.

A recent study shows roundabouts reduce the amount of fatal crashes by 86%.

“. Roundabouts handle high levels of traffic with less delay than most stop signs or signals. The entry curves slow traffic so entering and exiting are easier and more efficient,” Dougherty said.

After deciding on the project, MnDOT and the County applied for Highway Safety Improvement Plan funding, and got it. Federal dollars will pay for the $1.79 million project.

While neighbors mostly agreed a roundabout would be a good idea, some disagree on if it’s worth the price tag.

“I like roundabouts if you know how to use them they work out well,” Finley said. “If it saves a couple lives it's worth it.”

“I think the roundabout will be a good thing, it will slow people down,” a nearby resident said. “Probably not worth the money, a good thing but roundabouts are spendy.”

Both residents said they’re not too concerned about the construction causing traffic since there are other routes and gravel roads to take in the area.

Construction is scheduled to start May 7, 2018 and end in early July.

Community members who may have questions about the project are invited to get answers at MnDOT’s open house for the project on Wednesday April 25. It will be held at the Eyota Volunteer Ambulance Station from 4 -6 pm.

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