Construction is set to begin Monday to build a roundabout at the intersection of Midway Road and Maple Grove Road in Hermantown.
During the first month of the project, Midway Road will remain open to traffic. Maple Grove Road, however, will be closed on both sides of the intersection. Detours will be posted directing motorists to use Lavaque Road and Morris Thomas Road.
Beginning July 9, Midway Road will close at that intersection with Maple Grove Road. Northbound traffic will be detoured to Highway 2, Canosia Road and Highway 194. Southbound traffic will be detoured to Highway 53, Lavaque Road and Highway 2. Large trucks will be detoured to Highways 33 and 2.
The roundabout is expected to be complete and roads reopened by August 31. The total project cost is $2.1 million and is funded by State Aid dollars. Northland Constructors of Duluth is the contractor.
This is the second roundabout built by St. Louis County Public Works, and the first in the Duluth and Hermantown area. A roundabout at the intersection of Highways 73 and 5 in Chisholm was completed last October.
The intersection of Maple Grove Road and Midway Road is known for having a higher number of accidents than it should, and for lengthy backups at times for motorists on Maple Grove Road attempting to cross or turn onto Midway Road.
Following an Intersection Control Evaluation study, St. Louis County Public Works engineers concluded that a single lane roundabout would be the best way to improve safety and reduce congestion at the intersection.
Roundabouts are proven to reduce serious crashes because they eliminate high speed, right angle collisions. The proposed design would accommodate all forms of traffic from bicycles to large trucks.