Several Highway 12-related items reviewed Tuesday by city council

April 21, 2008

By Ryan Gueningsman
Managing Editor

A number of Highway-12 related items were reviewed at the regular Delano City Council meeting Tuesday night.

After a general progress update was given by City Engineer Vince Vander Top of Wenck Associates (see related story), the council took action on a few items.

One of the most noticeable is a four-way stop sign at the intersection of St. Peter Avenue and Ninth Street, just north of Ridgeview Clinic.

Vander Top also discussed the traffic signals in town, and explained that when the detour was first implemented the afternoon of April 8, the lights on Highway 12 near the Delano American Legion were still set for a heavier north/south traffic flow.

He said the following day, crews from Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) reviewed the timing of the lights, and gave more green light time in an attempt to get traffic off the bridge on Bridge Avenue quicker.

A split-phase has been considered for the stoplights, which means if the light is green going east on Highway 12, then the light for going west would be red. Officials hoped this would be in place by the end of last week, and will help create some breaks in traffic.

Mayor Joe McDonald asked if the temporary lights have the capability to have turn arrows. Vander Top said they do not, and said there would need to be a designated turning lane in effect in order for there to be arrows. Vander Top also said turn arrows would also add another phase to the light cycle.

It was noted the pedestrian crossing buttons at the base of each traffic signal do not appear to be functioning, and always give pedestrians a “do not walk” message. Vander Top said MnDOT’s signal technician will also review this issue.

Signage of business access was also reviewed, with the words “business detour” being changed to “business access” in an attempt to avoid confusion about the regular detour route.

Vander Top said there have been reports of some motorists driving around the barricades at streets that are closed – Third, Fourth, and Kelsey Streets.

“People are not allowed to drive around them,” Vander Top said.

McDonald added that the Wright County Sheriff’s Office has been ticketing people who are breaking the law when it comes to these issues. He also urged people to slow down when traveling through Delano.

He added if someone has an immediate concern with the project, to contact the city hall at (763) 972-0550.

McDonald encouraged people to support local businesses, and said “it’s worth the pain to get there.”

“It’s vital for them,” he added.

Council reviews crosswalk request for Hidden Hills

Following general discussion about the Highway 12 project, a request was reviewed for a crosswalk on Wright County Road 30 and Hidden Hills Drive.

In the past, the city has painted a crosswalk across the road. Last year, city staff received a request from Wright County to not continue painting the crosswalk in future years, as well as at other locations throughout the city on county roads.

In light of the detour route, the city again pursued permission from the county for a crosswalk at the location. The county responded with a letter stating it would not allow a crosswalk of any kind at that location, as well as several others throughout town.

After discussion, the county proposed a possible solution. Assistant County Engineer Virgil Hawkins said the county would approve the request by Hidden Hills if a walking lane was created on the shoulder of Hidden Hills Drive.

The installation of such a walking lane would not be permissible without an agreement from MnDOT due to the route being a detour for a state highway. The city has presented the request to MnDOT and is waiting to hear back.

Odds and ends

In other business, the council:

• authorized the installation of gutters on the north side of the storage unit at Crow River Villa.

• tabled a request from Delano Dodge for a conditional use permit for land excavation and filling.

• approved a request from Lloyd Griep of State Farm Insurance regarding a site plan review and variance for parking at his location on Babcock Boulevard.

• approved a step increase for motor vehicle coordinator Joan Miller.

• approved the purchase of a 2008 Dodge Ram truck from Delano Dodge at a cost of $24,844.

The truck will be used as a grass fire truck.

• entered into closed session to discuss a purchase agreement for a Rivertown Rowhome unit.

The council also met earlier in the evening at a special workshop with Jeff Vanderlinde of the Vanderlinde Group to discuss marketing and advertising for the rowhomes.

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