You hate them. Or you dislike them. Roundabouts. Work progresses on the West Bridge Street Reconstruction job in Owatonna. It will ultimately include a roundabout at Bridge and 24th Avenue NW. Action is yet to start on the roundabout for State Avenue (County Highway 45) and 26th St Street (County Highway 34).

Work on West Bridge is about to move to a new phase which will involved the closure of the southbound I-35 exit and entrance ramps. The weekly update on the project states this week will include "additional road base preparation and turf establishment within the areas that have been graded to final elevations. Concrete paving is planned to begin on July 12."

That's also the date for the ramp closures according to signs posted at the site. Other traffic changes will also occur in early July.

The Steele County Highway Department cites several factors for the move to a roundabout at State Ave and 26th Street, "A higher than expected crash rate. In the past five years, four injury crashes including one severe injury have occurred at this intersection." Maintenance issues with the current traffic signal is also at issue.

An improvement to the nearby railroad crossing will be part of the project as well. The highway department website states the intersection will be closed for about two months this summer and fall.

Another project listed on the Steele County Highway Department website involves "Reconfiguring lane markings from a 4-lane cross section with two lanes of traffic in each direction to a 3-lane cross section with one lane of traffic in each direction and one left turn lane," for State Avenue from Hoffman Drive to 26th Street.

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