Roundabouts abound in plan for Farmington's 195th St.
Farmington could have three new roundabouts as part of a 195th Street reconstruction project scheduled for 2015, according to Dakota County transportation plans.
The Farmington City Council met with Dakota County engineer Mark Krebsbach and assistant engineer and Brian Sorenson Monday to get an idea of what the 195th Street reconstruction project will look like.
Dakota County has scheduled an open house for the project from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, March 6 at the Farmington Maintenance Facility.
City and county staff will be available at that meeting to answer questions about the project.
On Monday, Sorenson gave a brief overview of what will be presented later this week. A resident of the Charleswood neighborhood, Sorenson understands well what some of the issues of 195th Street are, and what needs to be done to fix them.
Using a road study conducted in 2009, county staff has determined that 195th Street, when rebuilt, should be a three-lane roadway from Flagstaff Avenue to its end at Diamond Path.
In the past, county transportation planners have indicated a roundabout may be the traffic control of choice at the intersection of Pilot Knob Road and 195th Street. But now, after watching how traffic moves in and around Farmington High School, as well as Meadowview Elementary and Akin Road Elementary, it appears roundabouts may be the preferred traffic control mechanism at Flagstaff Avenue and 195th, and Akin Road and 195th, as well.
Council member Christy Jo Fogarty said she is perfectly fine with the idea of building roundabouts along the route.
“I’m a fan of roundabouts,” Fogarty said, “because people don’t die in them.”
Outside of the construction of a roundabout on Flagstaff, the road that runs past Farmington High School will not be subjected to any other construction during the process. However, Sorenson said, residents on either side of 195th Street should plan for traffic detours when the project starts in 2015.
The roundabout at Pilot Knob Road and 195th Street will require some right of way acquisition, Sorenson said. Some of the right of way will have to come from Akin Road Elementary’s fields. Part of that is due to the roundabout, and part of it is due to the county’s decision to widen a section of Pilot Knob Road to four lanes.
“It really would make sense to make that four-lane connection to the north as part of this project,” Sorenson said.
If the county’s plan for Akin Road and 195th Street moves ahead, it will also mean the driveway at Akin Road Elementary School will have to be moved, he said.
The plans being presented this week are still very preliminary, Sorenson said. County transportation staff wants to get input from residents and incorporate that information into the future road construction project.
A second open house will be scheduled in September. By that time, the county should have a more comprehensive plan in place. A final design is expected by the end of January.
The reconstruction project itself is scheduled to begin in April, 2015, and continue through October, 2015.