Highway 25 traffic signal options presented to city

Highway 25 improvement plans slated for construction next summer include four traffic signal options at the Wright County Road 106/85th Avenue intersection.
Claudia Dumont, Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) District 3 project manager, presented the plans during a Sept. 10 city council workshop.
Option 1 includes installation of a permanent signal at the junction of Highway 25 and County Road 106. Right and left turn lanes would be added, but the two-lane highway corridor would be maintained. Option 2 includes an extension of the four-lane road section from where it currently ends south of Kjellberg’s through the County Road 106 intersection, then a tapered return to a two-lane section.  This proposal includes a raised center median with full access at Kjellberg’s.
Option 3: would extend the four-lane section through the intersection of County Road 106, then a taper back to a two-lane section. The median at Kjellberg’s, would be closed but a right-in, right-out access would be maintained. Left turn lanes would be added south of Kjellberg’s to provide for a future full intersection that would serve undeveloped properties on both sides of the highway. According to Dumont, full intersection openings and access control would be exchanged for the closure of field entrances to the same parcels. Option 4 would extend the four-lane section through County Road 106. The highway would taper back to a two-lane section. Access at Kjellberg’s would be closed but new full access intersection would be built to provide service road connections. Dumont said last week this option would require property owners on both sides of Highway 25 to dedicate the right of way needed for the frontage road connections, but MnDOT would pay for service road construction. Dumont told the council access would be provided in exchange for entrances at Kjellberg’s and parcel field entrances.
MnDOT had originally planned to convert the existing two-lane highway between Monticello and Buffalo to a four-lane expressway. Dumont told city leaders the additional lanes probably wouldn’t be built because of reduced funding and changed MnDOT project priorities. However, Dumont said safety improvements still need to be completed because area accidents are three times higher than the state average. During her Sept. 10 meeting with the Monticello council, Dumont briefly displaced four different option maps that showed intersection and service road improvements. Since the Highway 25 project requires municipal consent, city leaders will need to act soon regarding a preferred plan. “We are getting close,” she said. MnDOT wants to begin right-of-way acquisitions on Jan. 1, 2013.