Two New Roundabouts Announced For Busy Duluth Road
Love them or hate them, they're here to stay in the Northland. Another set of roundabouts - two specifically - have been announced as part of the plans to reconstruct a busy Duluth roadway.
The St. Louis County HIghway Department has announced plans for a reconstruction project along Rice Lake Road - between Ridgeview Road to a half-mile north of Martin Road. Along with a variety of safety improvements and design elements, two roundabouts are included as part of the plans.
Initial project plans for the Rice Lake work show the location of each of the roundabouts. The first would be installed at the intersection of Rice Lake Road and Calvary Road; the second would be put in place at Rice Lake Road and Martin Road. Each of the roundabouts would serve to improve traffic flow and bring safety considerations to these busy intersections.
What's unique for these proposed roundabouts - at least for the Northland - is the fact that they'll be "stacked" so close to each other; the roundabouts will essentially exist at the two consecutive intersections along Rice Lake Road.
At this point, the project isn't funded - at least according to the St. Louis County website. But with Rice Lake Road being such a vital arterial route, it's certain to be on the top of the list of expected road construction projects for the county. For the time being, "[t]he design, permitting, and right of way acquisition would occur from 2022 to 2025", which means that St. Louis County is in the process of taking the early steps needed to make sure that the pieces come together when they can.
A reconstructed Rice Lake Road is something that has been deemed a necessity - at least when looking at the way that the neighborhood in the project area has been developed:
"Engineers have been studying this section oof roadway for several years, noting the concentration of new and planned development, the expected growth in the city and corresponding traffic volumes, and safety and delay concerns at several intersections. Working with the City of Rice Lake, they have developed recommendations to improve traffic operations and safety while preserving the function of RIce Lake Road. The goal is to create a commercial corridor that invites development while also managing access, and that incorporates accessibility for pedestrians and bicyclists."
In advance of any ground work, St. Louis County has arranged a variety of public meetings to communicate plans with the public and solicit input and feedback. The next of those meetings is set to happen on Tuesday, September 27 at 6:00 PM at Rice Lake Town Hall: 4107 Beyer Road.