WDAY: The News Leader

Published June 02, 2011, 02:21 PM

Workers to build roundabout at deadly intersection

Moorhead, Minn. (WDAY TV) - In less than two months, permanent changes are coming to one of the deadliest intersections in Western Minnesota. MNDOT workers will build a roundabout on Highway 75 and 60th Avenue South or the old Convent Road.

By: Travis Skonseng, WDAY

That project involves resurfacing 60th Avenue from the Red River to Highway 75, along with the roundabout. The troubled intersection has a history of crashes; 41 in 24 years. Of those, six were fatalities.

In 2010, MNDOT changed this 55 mile per hour intersection from a two to four way stop and put up these signs as temporary measures. Crashes have decreased. Some homeowners are angry Clay County and the state are paying 2.2 million dollars for this project.

DAN ANDERSON - Moorhead Homeowner: “When a good set of stop lights would do the same thing. We got blinking stop signs out there now that they put in that are working just fine.”

TOM SWENSON - MNDOT Traffic Engineer: “You're always going to have some crash. It's hard to eliminate all the crashes anywhere but we'd like to cut them down and especially when you have this number of fatalies is just unacceptable.”

Construction will start July 5th and finish late August. Traffic will be detoured. The city plans to build another roundabout next summer one mile north, on 50th Avenue South.

Engineers are pleased with Cass County's only roundabout outside Fargo. This roundabout on County Road 17 and 52nd Street South was built in 2008. It cost 250 thousand dollars.

There had been multiple crashes there for years, but since the roundabout, there has been none. The approaching roads are 40 miles per hour, 25 in the roundabout.

TOM SOUCY - Cass County Assistant Engineer: “It's performing beautifully. People come in to the roundabout, they yield to the oncoming traffic on the left, no one's coming, they go around the circle and exit wherever they need to.”

The county is not looking at building another roundabout.