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Roundabout to replace 70th and Hinton crossroads

COTTAGE GROVE — Work begins in early May on a roundabout that will replace the four-way stop at the intersection of 70th Street and Hinton Avenue.

Washington County and Cottage Grove will share the cost on the $3.4 million project. 

The Washington County Board approved a $3.4 million contract with North Pine Aggregate at its March 12 meeting.

“It’s a very busy intersection,” District 4 Commissioner Wayne Johnson said. “A four-way stop with a growing city has become too much. I live there so I know how busy it can be.”

The County Board also approved cooperative agreements with the city for maintenance and cost share.

Approximately 71 percent of the cost will come from the county’s highway state aid.  The city will pay the remainder.

The intersection accommodates more than 15,000 vehicles a day, and that number will grow as more houses go up in the area.

The roundabout is intended to relieve congestion and reduce the number of crashes, project engineer Allan Brandt told the County Board at the meeting.

The number of crashes exceeds the Minnesota Department of Transportation standard for similar intersections, according the report.

When complete, the roundabout will accommodate two lanes of traffic in both directions on 70th Street, Brandt said. The road will remain open for the duration of the project.

Only one of those lanes will be accessible to vehicles, however. The second lane would be opened should 70th Street become a four-lane.

“If it is widened in the future, the roundabout would only require minor modifications," Brandt said.

Portions of Hinton Avenue will close during the project, beginning with a short section south of 70th Street, Brandt said. Cross streets on Hinton will still be accessible from 80th Street.

The section of Hinton north of 70th Street will close when the work is about 75 percent complete.

More information is available at www.co.washington.mn.us/13-22RAB.

William Loeffler

William Loeffler is a playwright and journalist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He worked 15 years writing features for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has also written travel stories based on his trips to all seven continents. He and his wife, Michelle, ran the Boston Marathon in 2009. 

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