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Midway and Maple Grove Road roundabout to open Friday afternoon

Construction is just about complete on the roundabout at the intersection of Midway Road and Maple Grove Road in Hermantown. The roads and new roundabout are expected to reopen at 3 p.m. Friday.

Maple Grove Road has been closed since June, and Midway Road has been closed since July. The decision was made to close the roads in order to finish the project faster and have it opened in time for the start of the school year.

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 total project cost is $2.1 million and is funded by State Aid dollars. Northland Constructors of Duluth is the contractor.

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 roundabout accommodates all forms of traffic from bicycles to large trucks.