Roundabout approved for intersection of Highway 75 and County Road 21 north of Crookston

It will be constructed in 2024

Jess Bengtson
Crookston Times

    A roundabout planned for 2024 for the intersection at Highway 75 North and County Road 21 was recently approved by Polk County Board of Commissioners and County Engineer Rich Sanders told the Times in a Q&A that the cost of the project, which includes the realignment of Trunk Highway 75, will be split between the county and Minnesota Department of Transportation after the use of awarded federal funds. It will also be large enough for Transystems trucks to maneuver plus there should be “plenty of room” for all other farm equipment to get through, he adds.

    Times: Where exactly will the roundabout be located and will things have to be moved around to accommodate it?

    Sanders: “The round about circle will be located about 100 feet west of the current intersection to give enough room for vehicle storage on the east leg by the railroad tracks.”

    Times: What size will the roundabout be and will it be difficult for farm vehicles to navigate around it?

    Sanders: “I don’t know the exact layout yet.. it will be large enough so that Transystems Trucks will be able to drive through without driving up over the center median.  We are planning for a 12 foot driving lane, 8 – 10 foot paved shoulder and then an 4 or 5 foot paved walking area.  So there should be plenty of room for all other farm equipment to get thru the RAB.”

    Times: How much will it cost and how much will the county be responsible for?

    Sanders: “MNDOT (Minnesota Department of Transportation) and Polk County are sharing in the cost… We estimate the total cost of the RAB and TH 75 realignment to cost around 2 million.  Polk County received $400k and MNDOT received 1.2 Million in Federal Funds to construct the round about … The remainder of the cost will be split 50/50 between MNDOT and the County.”

    Times: Who will design the roundabout? How long does it take from design to construction ready?

    Sanders: “Polk County contracted with Widseth to design the RAB.  Polk County will use internal staff to put the rest of the plan together.  We are shooting to have the plan completed by March 2023 and construction in 2024.”

    Times: Will there be additional lighting or safety features for night time? If so, what will those features be?

    Sanders: “There will be a full lighting plan that goes with the RAB.  Right now there are 2 intesection lights… my guess it will increase to 6 to highlight the RAB at night.”

    Times: How many accidents have been at that intersection in the last year? Last few years?

    Sanders: “Crashes by Crash Severity - (1) Fatal, (1) Incapacitating Injury, (2) Minor Injury, (5) Property Damage, (9) Total Crashes. This is what was in the application for funds… from 2015 to 2019. We had another 3 in 2020 with two of them causing major property damage but no injuries due to seatbelt use and airbags. In 2021, a couple of weeks ago, we just had another with the same results.”

    Times: Reason behind the roundabout due to the amount of accidents there? Could you please elaborate on the reasoning.

    Sanders: “At this location, CSAH 21 and TH 75 are skewed to each other at the intersection.  This causes sight line issues for the East Bound/North Bound Traffic and West Bound/South Bound Traffic causing TBone Crashes.  Most of the crashes occur because the driver on CSAH 21 stops, looks both directions, doesn’t see a vehicle and drives into the intersection.  The problem is the newer vehicles have larger A pilars between the wind shield and passenger side door which creates the perfect blind spot.  And as you pull out the vehicle speed makes the vehicle stay behind the A pilar until the crash… so you never see them coming. To eliminate TBone Crashes all together, a RAB is the preferred solution.”

    Times: Are there other highways in Polk County you'd like to see roundabouts at due to frequent accidents? If so, where would you like to see some?

    Sanders: “We are having similar crashes at the CSAH 17/ TH 75 intersection south of Euclid as well. But at this time there isn’t an intersection that is on the list other than CSAH 21/TH 75.”

This is a draft layout designed by Widseth and may change for the final drawing depending on design and location requirements