Brown Co. board OKs MnDOT agreement for intersection

For CSAH 16/TH 14 intersection

Staff photo by Fritz Busch Brown County commissioners unanimously approved a highway improvement agreement with the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) for the northeast corner of the CR 16/TH 14 intersection Tuesday. CR 16 will be widened so semi trucks and trailers can turn north on CR 16 without entering the southbound lane.

NEW ULM — Brown County commissioners unanimously approved an agreement with the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) for the north leg of the CSAH 16/TH 14 intersection Tuesday.

Action came on a motion by Commissioner Tony Berg, seconded by Scott Windschitl.

With construction of a truck fueling station at the intersection several miles east of Springfield and three miles southwest of Cobden, the northeast corner needs improvement for westbound trucks to safely turn north to go to the station without entering the oncoming lane.

The Brown County Highway Department plans to do most of the work with its staff. CSAH 16 work including grading, aggregate base and bituminous pavement was estimated to cost $35,739.

Paving and striping will be done by a contractor. Authorization of the county highway department to ask for quotes was unanimously approved, motion by Commissioner Berg, seconded by Windschitl.

MnDOT has agreed to pay for TH 14 right of way work, estimated to cost $15,035.25.

Work is scheduled to be done this summer.

Last May, commissioners unanimously approved an application by Farmward Cooperative to rezone 16.7 acres of land from the A-1 Agricultural Protection Zoning District to I-1 Industrial Zoning.

Travis Wendt of Farmward said plans included cardtrol pumps to allow access to unattended pumps or dispensing units to deliver gasoline to authorized users and add above ground fuel holding tanks 350 to 400 feet from the highway.

Scott Vogel of rural Springfield spoke in opposition to the proposal.

“I would advise the county board to vote ‘no’ to this proposal,” said Vogel. “The Highway 14-CR 16 intersection is busy. A 2018 county traffic study showed typical traffic at 580 cars per day on CR 16 and 2,500 per day on Highway 14. The study was done in the summer. Fall traffic could be much higher with truck traffic turning north of Highway 14.”

Vogel voiced concerns of a serious crash at the intersection. He said using TH 14 turn lanes as bypass lanes was a safety concern.

Rural Springfield resident Jay Anderson emailed Brown County Zoning Administrator Laine Sletta, stating “I am opposed to where they want to put this fueling station. CR 16 and TH14 is already a terrible intersection with lots of accidents over the years. I think it would be catastrophic to add more vehicles turning in and out.”

Wendt said plans were to improve the Highway 14-CR 16 intersection by filling in a corner with asphalt so vehicles pulling trailers don’t enter the oncoming lane. He said there was not a need for a new turning lane since there is already a stop sign on CR 16.

Commissioner Jeff Veerkamp said there was a northbound turning lane on TH 14. Commissioner Tony Berg said a proposed Highway 14 turning lane for eastbound traffic would allow vehicles to avoid impeding eastbound Highway 14 traffic.

Commissioners unanimously approved awarding CSAH 33 and 34 surface rehabilitation projects in Sleepy Eye to Nielsen Blacktopping, Inc., motion by Commissioner Brian Braun, seconded by Commissioner Dave Borchert.

Nielsen Blacktopping bid $252,691.34 for .42 miles of CSAH 33 from CSAH 27 to CSAH 34 and .22 miles of CSAH 34 from TH 14 to TH 4. The engineer’s estimate was $325,249.70.

OMG Midwest Inc. dba Minnesota Paving & Materials bid $266,526.48. M.R. Paving & Excavating Inc. bid $272,275.16.

Projects include mill and overlay surface rehabilitation with ADA improvements including pedestrian ramps at street corners. Road segments have many cracks and weathering, causing the need to rehabilitate pavement.

Work will funded with municipal and regular state aid funds. Projects are scheduled to begin on or before May 20 and take up to 40 working days to complete.


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