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MnDOT's Roundabout Proposal for North Mankato Moves Forward

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Roundabouts have been a hot topic in Mankato but now North Mankato is considering joining the growing trend.

The intersection of Highway 14 and Lookout Drive needs some work. In 2009, the city conducted a traffic study that warranted improvements at the intersection of Highway 14 Westbound exit and entrance Ramps and Lookout Drive. City officials say the pavement is completely deteriorated since it was constructed back in 1970.

MnDOT completed an Intersection Control Evaluation in 2011 that determined a roundabout would reduce crashes and offer the greatest improvements in operations.

MnDOT District Traffic Engineer, Scott Thompson says, "That intersection has a severe injury crash rate that is higher than statewide average so it needs to be worked on."

Assuming there's a 50 percent cost split between the state and the city the project is estimated to cost North Mankato $890,000 which included inflation if the project is started in 2017.

Although it's cheaper to install a stoplight. According to MnDOT roundabouts reduce all crashes by 89 percent and can save the motorist time.

Thompson says, "The enhanced safety by reducing or right angel crashes but they reduce delay for motorist going the intersection."

Council Member, Diane Norland says, "I think it's a good thing."

In the next couple of months MnDOT will present more information on a possible timeline, the council also deciding tonight to support an agreement with the state showing interested in pursuing a roundabout.