The intersection of the 142nd Street and Highway 3 can be tricky, especially if you want to head north. For that reason, Rosemount recently conducted a traffic study.
City administrator Dwight Johnson said the issue of the intersection was raised at a meeting between himself, mayor Bill Droste and District 196 Superintendent Jane Berenz.
In response to concerns discussed at that meeting, the city asked WSB to look at traffic counts and research accident data.
142nd Street is the main access to Rosemount High School from Highway 3.
“There are ongoing traffic problems and it’s an uncontrolled intersection,” said Johnson of the reasons for the study.
Johnson said the study found that the accident rate for the intersection is higher than for similar intersections throughout the state. The intersection averages three accidents per year.
While the intersection doesn’t meet the warrants for a stop light, Johnson said the Minnesota Department of Transportation may allow a roundabout at the intersection.
A roundabout, Johnson said, would limit the severity of accidents at the intersection while also slowing traffic driving into the downtown area.
Preliminary estimates put the costs for the roundabout at $250,000 to $300,000. Johnson said MNDOT has a cost-sharing program that may pay a significant portion of the cost.
After getting the thumbs up from the council to explore the idea, Johnson said city staff will meet with MNDOT staff to pitch the idea in the next week or so. Johnson said city staff has also met with RHS principal John Wollersheim and District 196 business manager Jeff Solomon and both have agreed to sit in on conversations with MNDOT.
Johnson said the intersection does have constraints but that a newer, narrower roundabout design can fit the existing right-of-way without encroaching on the high school or St. Joseph’s Cemetery property. Johnson said the city will continue to look at the option.