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Weather will affect construction

From the Editor's Notebook

September 13, 2013
by Chuck Hunt - Register Editor (chunt@faribaultcountyregister) , Faribault County Register

It's now the middle of September and there is one question on every Blue Earth resident's mind.

No, it is not "Will the Minnesota Twins be in the playoffs." They won't.

It is not "Will the Minnesota Vikings win this week." They probably won't.

The question everyone asks these days is, "When will the Highway 169 and other road construction projects be done?"

The question isn't an easy one to answer because of one thing.

Minnesota weather.

Will it start to rain for days on end this fall? Will there be a big Halloween blizzard?

Or will it be a beautiful fall that lasts to Thanksgiving and beyond?

Tell the road construction crews what the weather will be like the next couple of months and they will tell you when they will get things wrapped up.

To their credit, they are moving right along. I have even seen them working at 7 p.m. on weekdays and after 6 p.m. on a Saturday.

They want to get it completed as much as we want them to get it done.

Much of the underground utility work is being wrapped up and there is a lot of activity now that deals with preparing the sub-base for the new roads.

Next steps will be installing curbs and gutters and sidewalks not only on Highway 169 but on 11th and 12th streets and Highland Drive.

Here are some other construction notes from the editor's notebook.

We posted some aerial photos of the new Seventh Street roundabout on our Faribault County Register Facebook page last week, just before it was to open. In less than 24 hours over 1,800 people had viewed them.

Many made comments about how they felt about the roundabouts. The views went the full spectrum from "I really like them," to "I hate them" and "What a colossal waste of money."

Speaking of loving or hating the new roundabouts, one local resident said he has changed his mind. He first didn't think they were necessary and was not in favor of having three of the things in Blue Earth.

He thought the whole idea was ridiculous.

Now that one has actually opened up for partial use anyway he now thinks they are kind of cool and pretty easy to use. Almost fun, he says.

I'm not so sure everyone has the hang of how to use them yet.

In a town where drivers seem to have a difficult time obeying stop signs, some of them don't seem to know what a yield sign is, either. Many are coming to a complete stop before entering the roundabout even with no other traffic in sight. Ironically, it could be the same ones who blow through stop signs even the new ones that flash little red lights.

Then there are those drivers who turn left on the roundabout, because they want to go down the road that is off to the left of them. No, no, no. Always go to the right. Circle around until you get to the street you want to go on.

If you need some simple instructions on how to negotiate your way around the roundabout, we have included some notes on Page 14 of this week's Register.

Many drivers also seem to need instructions on how to follow detour signage.

Crews are now working on Highway 169 from the new roundabout south to the entrance to the Ag Center and the Seneca warehouse driveway. The detour has changed and is now from the roundabout, west over to Rice Street, then south to 14th Street and back east over to Highway 169.

Many drivers coming from the south have been going around the detour sign and continuing to the Ag Center instead of turning onto 14th Street.

From there they are attempting to go around the back side of the Ag Center building, headed to the back side of Kwik Trip.

So many are trying this tactic, in fact, that there was a traffic jam back behind the Ag Center and the police had to be called.

Really.

Let's review.

Stop at stop signs. Yield at yield signs. Go right on a roundabout. Follow detour signs.

What would some of these drivers do if they ever had to take a driver's license exam again?

They would be taking it more than once, I think.

 
 

 

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