The Steele County Highway Department announces construction will begin on a mini-roundabout at the intersection of Rose Street and North Grove Avenue in Owatonna Friday, April 10. The project is expected to last six weeks and will include sanitary sewer reconstruction.

There will be no thru traffic during the work, but residents will have limited access to their driveways depending on road construction activities, according to the news release from the highway department. Trucks and larger vehicles should be aware of a low-clearance crossing underpass on the Mineral Springs Road detour.

Excuse my excitement, but I am a big fan of roundabouts. I go out of my way to go through them, though I have only pulled a Clark Griswold drive through a couple of times. I have seen many intersections traffic flow improve dramatically due to roundabouts. Mankato has back-to-back large roundabouts on the east end of town near the River Hills Mall. I find traffic smoothly running through them each time I go to cover games there.

Here's how I look at it. If there is a stop sign at a given intersection, I know I have to stop and may have to wait for several go around's of, "Whose turn is it now?" If there is a roundabout, more often than not there is no need to stop. Occasionally, I have had to stop while a string of cars flow through from another direction. My experience has been that the wait is still shorter than had there been a stop sign.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation reports an 86-percent decrease in fatal accidents at intersections where roundabouts have been added. I admit they can be a little tricky at times and there are many different styles. The department offers some tips and rules for navigating roundabouts.

Roy Koenig/Townsquare Media

The mini-roundabout going in at Rose and North Grove, I assume, is similar to the one on the north end of town at 26th Street and North Cedar.

Other construction notes:


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