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Cottage Grove backs 70th Street, Keats Avenue study

In an attempt to address a myriad of citizen concerns with traffic safety along 70th Street and Keats Avenue in Cottage Grove, Washington County officials are enlisting the help of the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

The Cottage Grove City Council on Nov. 20 supported the county’s decision to have MnDOT conduct engineering and traffic investigations on the entire length of 70th Street down to Manning Avenue, and on Keats Avenue between Indian Boulevard and 1,000 feet north of Military Road.

The outcome of the study, City Engineer Jennifer Levitt told the council, will be used to determine an appropriate speed limit for both roads.

“With the county restructuring the road, characteristics have changed,” she explained. “Whatever the posted speed (limit) was at the time may not be appropriate for the new conditions.”

When MnDOT comes back with its recommendation, whether it be an increase or decrease in speed, the county would be obligated to post it, Levitt said.

While council member Dave Thiede supported the traffic study, he did express concern with the possibility of the results finding that a higher speed limit would be appropriate.

“I would highly doubt that (the speed limit) will go any higher that it already is or it will go lower is what I believe,” Mayor Myron Bailey said.

The study, Levitt added, could take up to a year to complete.