Is roundabout coming to Highway 29?
A new way of flowing traffic in and around Highway 29 just south of the Interstate 94 interchange is being proposed - a "roundabout" intersection.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) met with city and county leaders this week to talk about placing the roundabout on Highway 29 South and County Roads 28 (the road to Lake Andrew) and 87 (that leads to Central Specialties and the shooting range).
Designed to lower the incidents of crashes, roundabouts direct traffic into a one-way, counter-clockwise flow around a central island. The size of the roundabout and the angles of entry are designed to slow the speed of vehicles, according to MnDOT. Traffic entering the circle of a roundabout yields to traffic already in the circle.
The roundabout is one part of MnDOT's planned redesign of Highway 29 in 2015-2016. Other parts of the project include reconstructing the interchange ramps, rebuilding the Highway 29 bridges over I-94, improving access to frontage roads expanding Highway 29 to four lanes south of I-94 to County Road 28, and realigning County Road 28.
The Alexandria City Council briefly discussed the roundabout at its meeting Tuesday night (held a day later than normal because of the Columbus Day holiday).
In other action that popped up at the short, 25-minute meeting, the council:
Agreed to pay Tri-City Paving $551,515 for a runway improvement project at the Alexandria Airport. The project was done at no expense to the city. Half of it will be covered by state airport funds and the other half will be paid by state bonding funds.
Accepted a letter of intent to retire from Alexandria Building Official Bruce Jaspersen. He plans to retire on June 7, 2013. The council thanked Jaspersen for his many years of service and wished him the best in his retirement.
--Approved September bills. Council member Virgil Batesole asked several questions about some of the expenses. After hearing explanations from City Administrator Jim Taddei and Assistant City Administrator Marty Schultz, Batesole joined the rest of the council in approving the bills.
Discussed work going on at Big Ole Park. Batesole brought the topic up during the "old and other business" part of the meeting. He noticed that crews have been digging large holes and pouring concrete at the park. Council member Sara Carlson said that the work is being done through a grant from Lowe's to improve the trailhead to the Central Lakes Trail. The improvements include a covered kiosk area with maps, information and other amenities for bicyclists entering the trail. Students from the Alexandria Technical and Community College's SkillsUSA program are doing the work.