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Smoother traffic flow coming to McKay and CR 82

Protected left-turn signals will be added to the traffic lights at the intersection of McKay Avenue and County Road 82. (Echo Press graphic)

Prepare to be far less frustrated when trying to make a left turn onto County Road 82 east of Alexandria.

The traffic signal system at County Road 46 (McKay Avenue) and County Road 82 (old State Highway 27) on the east side of Alexandria will soon be revised.

Last week, Douglas County commissioners gave the go-ahead for the project.

North and southbound traffic on McKay Avenue is not controlled by traffic light arrows. Instead, drivers must yield to traffic to make a left turn. During peak traffic times – like after school – traffic backs up and it’s likely only a few vehicles can get through the intersection before the light changes.

The existing traffic signals will be modified to add protected left turn signals.

The county board’s approval covers the $6,250 design and engineering fee for the signal revision.

Actual construction is estimated to total about $20,000, according to Douglas County Engineer and Public Works Director Dave Robley.

Installing a new traffic signal system would likely push the total to about $45,000, he told commissioners.

“It’s a 20-year-old signal so this is a fairly quick fix and will last several years,” Robley said.

The revised signal is scheduled to happen yet this summer.

Amy Chaffins

Amy Chaffins is a journalist working for the Echo Press newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota.

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