1/2/2013 1:18:00 PM Right in-right out access to close next year
By David Richards
Plans for Byron's Frontage Road renovation became a little bit clearer at the Dec. 19 city council meeting.
First, the council reviewed a traffic study on 10th Avenue and Highway 14 to see if there's enough traffic to warrant a dual, left turn lane at that location. Second, the council approved the closure of the right in-right out access from the Frontage Road to Highway 14 in front of Dairy Queen and Margaritos. That closure will take place toward the end of the multi-million dollar project that's slated to run from next summer to next fall.
In October, the council already approved the rebuilding of 10th Avenue as part of the project, from the train tracks to Highway 14, which will include widening the road.
In preparation of deciding on whether to put in a dual, left turn lane, the Minnesota Department of Transportation required Byron to conduct a traffic study to see if there was enough traffic at that intersection to justify it.
The study was done by WHKS out of Rochester, the consulting firm of city engineer Bill Angerman. The findings were presented to the council at the Dec. 19 meeting.
"Directional intersection traffic volumes were obtained from intersection traffic counts performed Nov. 27," the study stated.
"Traffic was counted for two hours at midday and three hours in the a.m. and p.m. Traffic counts were not performed at the right in-right out in the a.m."
The study showed that the current southbound traffic does back up to the Frontage Road intersection during the a.m. peak and that the installation of dual, left turn lane would reduce the delay, better the level of service for a longer period of time and shorter queue lengths that would not extend to the Frontage Road intersection.
Council agreed with that recommendation.
As for the closure of the right in-right out in front of Dairy Queen, Angerman said the public works committee made the recommendation to close it because of safety reasons, mainly because it is not a controlled intersection. Angerman did say that while there have not been substantial accidents at that location, the fact that it is not controlled, doesn't have a spotlight for instance, is a problem.
"Just because there haven't been any accidents there doesn't mean it's not unsafe," Angerman said.
Angerman said the state has wanted the access closed since as far back as 2000.