Brainerd residents in the area of Beaver Dam Road and Riverside Drive can now cut down their commuting times, as the new roundabout at the intersection of Northwest Fourth and Jackson Street opens Thursday, June 10.
Only the north and west legs of the roundabout are open for public use to allow for the access to and from Riverside Drive. The rest will remain closed as crews continue to reconstruct Northwest Fourth Street from that point to Washington Street/Highway 210.
The second phase of the project began Thursday with the closing of the intersection at Northwest Fourth and James streets and is expected to continue through the end of July. Turf establishment and cleanup may continue into the fall.
The James Street and Northwest Fourth Street intersection will be closed to all traffic except for emergency vehicles beginning Thursday. Drivers should use alternate routes and expect traffic delays.
Work will take place during daylight hours Monday through Friday, and all residents in the project area will maintain access to their properties through adjacent streets and temporary access roads through the project. The contractor will coordinate with property owners when access will be limited to their property and will work with mail carriers and garbage haulers to set up temporary locations during construction.
Those with questions or concerns can call Bolton & Menk Project Engineer Phil Martin at 218-821-7265 or Anderson Brothers Construction Company Project Manager Scott Hendrickson at 218-820-9917.
The goal of the roundabout is to improve traffic flow and cut down on collisions. A recent traffic study showed 28 crashes at that intersection in a five-year period, which is 6 1/2 times the statewide average for similar intersections.
Lanes on Northwest Fourth Street will be configured into one northbound lane and three southbound lanes to rid the split phasing at the signal at Northwest Fourth and Washington streets and improve traffic conditions on both streets. Split phasing refers to the signal’s current design of the green light split into separate phases — one for turning vehicles and other for through-traffic and pedestrians. A full median will run between Washington and Jackson streets to prohibit left-hand turns onto Northwest Fourth Street.
The project will go hand in hand with improvements to Northwest Third Street and Jackson Street east of the project zone, which will improve access to the area behind the Ace Hardware strip mall.
The project is estimated to cost $1,083,516, and the city was awarded $800,000 in funds from the Local Road Improvement Program. The rest of the cost will be paid through the city’s state aid account.