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Roundabouts part of Humiston Avenue alternatives

Reconstruction alternatives for the portion of Humiston Avenue between Ryan's Road and Oxford Street were the focus of a special Worthington City Council meeting on Tuesday.

The city is working with the Minnesota Department of Transportation on a turnback that returns jurisdiction of an L-shaped piece of U.S. 59 to the city. The north-south portion of that L extends from near the Interstate 90 off and on ramps to the intersection of Humiston Avenue and Oxford Street.

Council members discussed four different alternatives for reconstruction between of that area and reviewed preliminary options for each. They include: a divided two-lane road with roundabouts at Humiston and Oxford as well as at Humiston and Ryan's Road; a divided two-lane road with a roundabout at Humiston and Ryan's Road and a traffic signal at Humiston and Oxford; a four-lane road with roundabouts at both previously mentioned intersections; and a four-lane road with a roundabout at Humiston and Ryan's Road and a traffic signal at Humiston and Oxford.

Worthington Public Works Director Todd Wietezma and Public Works employee Chad Nickel both expressed support for a four-lane road that they say would allow more room for public works efforts than a two-lane road. MnDOT staff said studies reveal less crashes on two-lane roads, and the creation of a wider median with some possible greenspace was also touted.

No action was taken by council members on Tuesday. A resolution by council that would essentially formally begin the turnback process is slated to be considered during the June 12 meeting. After that, the city would likely host public events that detail the alternatives for the Humiston Avenue portion to the public. One of the alternatives would ideally be chosen by August, with completion of a preliminary design then done by October.

Estimated city shares range from approximately $700,000 to nearly $1.2 million, depending on the option selected. Costs could actually be less, stressed Worthington City Engineer Steve Schnieder, and are based on a worst-case scenario.

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