by Dennis Dalman
Yet another roundabout will be constructed in Sartell – this one at the intersection of CR 133 and 19th Avenue in west Sartell, midway between the intersection of CR 133 and CR 4 and Pinecone Road.
At the Sept. 9 council meeting, Stearns County Engineer Jody Teichs presented an overview of the project, which is likely to be started in 2014. The intersection in question, Teichs said, is a very dangerous intersection. In recent years, she said, there have been some serious injuries, but fortunately no deaths there, due to crashes.
Because that intersection is dangerous, that fact convinced the federal government to give $400,000 in safety-grant money for the project, Teichs noted. Teichs herself drives through that intersection often, she noted, and although the speed limit for traffic coming from the west toward Sartell is 50 mph, she has seen vehicles traveling well in excess of the posted speed.
It’s also hazardous for the many bicyclists who travel in that area. City council member Amy Braig-Lindstrom, who enjoys bicycling, agreed, saying that the intersection is “very scary.”
The roundabout will be a four-legged configuration, with CR 133 going west and east of the roundabout and 19th Avenue going north and south. A roundabout there, Teichs said, would certainly slow down traffic and enhance safety.
Teichs said the cost of building the roundabout would be split. The grant would pay for $400,000, the lion’s share. The city and county would split the remaining costs on a three-fourth (city) and one-fourth (county) percentage. Sartell City Engineer Mike Nielson told the council his department estimated the city’s share of the cost would be between $60,000 and $70,000, depending on how the bids come in.
At the Sept. 9 council meeting, members Sarah Jane Nicoll and David Peterson were not present. However, the three council members who were present (Mayor Joe Perske, Amy Braig-Lindstrom and Steve Hennes) all agreed the roundabout project at that intersection is a good solution.
“It’s a dangerous intersection, especially at sunrise and sunset,” Hennes said.