Road improvements could impact local residents

Patrick Fisher

Staff Writer

Changes are in the works for Scott/Rice County Road 86. At an open house on Tuesday, Sept. 20, at New Market Area Hall, county officials presented proposals of the work to be done along the county road.

While Scott County is the lead agency in designing the project, it is also working with Rice County on the road, which serves as the border between the two counties east of Highway 19. Also involved is the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), because of Highway 19, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, due to wetlands in the area.

The proposed work is tentatively scheduled to be done in 2007 and would be done along County Road 86 from Highway 19 on the west to Scott County Road 27 on the east. The road is considered substandard due to narrow shoulders, steep slopes, offset roads going north and south, the lack of left and right turn lanes and traffic growth due to development.

Work would be done to reconstruct County Road 86 to current state aid standards. Included in the project is lowering some of the hills and filling in some of the deeper slopes.

One major element of the plan includes a roundabout where Highway 19 meets with County Road 86 and Scott County Road 23. The area, known locally as Cervenka’s Corner, has had a high incidence of crashes over the years.

A goal with the roundabout is to align Highway 19 and County Road 23 with 86. To do that county officials are considering four alternatives for the area.

While the open house was to let people know about the changes to the road, its main purpose was to solicit input on the design of the roads before proceeding with the final design. The final proposed project will be based on comments from the public, MnDOT and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Among those who offered opinions were Joel and Mary Olson, who own a home near the site of the proposed roundabout. They had concerns with the majority of the alternatives. Alternative B would go through their house and alternative C would take out the outbuildings they have on their property. Alternative A would cause the least disruption.

We can live with that

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