New signals planned for three intersections

Roundabout at 11/Parkway distant possibility

New traffic signals, not roundabouts, are the top choices for replacement of Burnsville’s three oldest signals.

Engineers from Dakota County and the city are recommending signals at County Road 5 and Burnsville Parkway, County Road 5 and 136th Street, and County Road 11 and Burnsville Parkway. The current signals are 27 to 37 years old and need replacing in the next few years, officials say.

A roundabout remains a future option for County Road 11 and Burnsville Parkway if funding can be found for the $950,000 project. For now, officials are recommending a $350,000 signal project.

The recommendations, presented to the City Council at a Feb. 14 work session, follow two community input meetings, the last held this month.

Roundabouts had been considered for all three intersections. Also considered, but rejected, was a plan to remove the signal at County Road 5 and 136th Street and create a limited-access intersection with no crossing and right turns only from 136th onto 5.

At County Road 5 and Burnsville Parkway, the plan is to replace the signal and add right-turn lanes for northbound and southbound traffic. The plan, which requires some right of way acquisition, is estimated at $500,000. A roundabout is estimated at $1.05 million.

About 900 feet from that intersection is 5 and 136th, where plans call for a signal with a westbound right-turn lane. The cost is estimated at $350,000, compared with $550,000 for a roundabout.

Many of the 35 people who attended the most recent meeting favored keeping the signal at 136th, according to the county.

At County Road 11 and Burnsville Parkway, plans call for a signal with an eastbound right-turn lane. The estimated cost is $350,000.

Bryant Ficek, a consultant for the planning team, joked that he recommends the signal with “a heavy heart” because a multilane roundabout would have worked well there.

But work on the intersection is a few years away, so a roundabout option remains, he said. Meeting attendees also favored a roundabout if funding can be found, according to the county.

Fatal and serious crashes are almost nonexistent in roundabouts, Ficek said, although property-damage crashes sometimes increase.

He said engineers will consider flashing yellow arrows for the new lights.

“It seems that most people really like them,” he said.

The first project, at County Road 5 and Burnsville Parkway, is scheduled for 2018.