By Lynda Jensen
With one of two new roundabouts on Highway 7 being completed, engineers are discovering that local drivers can become disoriented easily with roundabouts.
The finished roundabout (sometimes called a traffic circle), which opened last month, is located at Carver County Road 10 and Highway 7. A second roundabout is under construction at Highways 25 and 7 just west of Watertown.
The intersection of Highway 25 and Highway 7 in Carver County remains closed, and work continues on construction of a roundabout at this intersection.
MnDOT officials at the Hutchinson region office would like to provide the following roundabout driving tips for motorists.
Vehicles approaching and entering the roundabout:
• Do not stop in a roundabout except to avoid a collision.
• Slow down when entering a roundabout and be prepared to yield.
• Look to the left and check for traffic in the roundabout. Traffic already in the roundabout has the right of way.
• Enter the roundabout when there is enough space between vehicles in the roundabout.
Vehicles exiting the roundabout:
• Proceed counter-clockwise to your exit. You now have the right of way.
• As you approach the exit, use your right turn signal before exiting.
Trucks and other large vehicles:
• Roundabouts are designed to accommodate large trucks, buses, and emergency vehicles.
• Large trucks may, when necessary, drive on the raised pavement area (called the truck apron) in the center of the roundabout. Usually only the rear wheels track on the apron.
• Cars should not use the raised concrete apron.
• Do not enter the roundabout when emergency vehicles are in the vicinity pull to the side.
• Allow vehicles in the roundabout to clear in front of the emergency vehicle.
• If in the roundabout, exit the roundabout and pull to the side.
For additional information, contact Kelly Brunkhorst, project engineer in Hutchinson at (320) 234-8462.
Questions or concerns about the project?
MnDOT representative Kelly Brunkhorst will present updates about the Highway 7 project and answer questions during weekly meetings every Wednesday at 1 p.m. at the Hollywood Ranch House at the intersection of Highway 7 and Carver County Road 33 north of New Germany.
Updates will also be published each week in the Herald Journal and at www.herald-journal.com.