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Farmington section of Pilot Knob will grow in 2015

Though it’s still unclear whether a roundabout or a traffic signal will be installed at Pilot Knob Road and 195th Street in 2015, one thing is certain — a portion of Pilot Knob Road will need to be widened to four lanes.

That was the message Farmington city engineer Kevin Schorzman received from Dakota County last week, and it was the message he relayed to city council members during a Monday workshop. He brought the matter to council this week because the additional work will likely add $500,000 to the city’s portion of the 195th Street reconstruction project.

The 195th Street/County Road 64 reconstruct is scheduled for 2015. It will replace the entire stretch of 195th Street from Flagstaff Avenue to Diamond Path. The plan calls for a trail to be installed along 195th, as well as an underpass near Meadowview Elementary School so pedestrians can cross the road safely.

The project will also include intersection work at both Pilot Knob Road and Akin Road. Also known as County Road 31, Pilot Knob is county-owned, and as a result will benefit from new traffic controls in the form of either a roundabout or traffic signals.

Pilot Knob Road narrows to two lanes just north of 195th Street, and continues as a two-lane road south to County Road 50. In planning the project, Dakota County proposes increasing the section north of 195th Street to a four-lane road, Schorzman said. It is unclear if the section to the south of 195th will also be expanded at this time.

With the added cost in mind, county staff asked whether the city of Farmington wants to go ahead with the project in 2015, or if local officials wanted to delay work until 2016. Citing safety concerns along 195th Street, council members indicated they are ready for the project to begin sooner rather than later.

“That Charleswood intersection is a death trap,” mayor Todd Larson said. “Someone’s going to die out there.”

With the project set for next year, Schorzman said the county wants to hold an open house in Farmington, so residents can see what the project will look like and provide input. That open house will be scheduled in early March.

A sewer reconstruction project is also planned along 195th Street. That work will be done by the city of Farmington, but at the same time as the 195th Street reconstruct.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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