While the need might not be immediate, the City of North Mankato is in the early stages of planning for roundabouts at three busy intersections.

An intersection control evaluation by SRF Consulting Group determined that construction of a roundabout is warranted at the intersections of Lookout Drive at Howard Drive, Lor Ray Drive at Carlson Drive and Lor Ray Drive at Howard Drive. 

Community Development Director Mike Fisher says a number of factors were studied.

“Existing conditions, crash data, future traffic, existing traffic volumes and the recommendations were based on to improve traffic movements and pedestrian movements. At each intersection, the traffic will dictate when these improvements might get done.”

The consultant determined that a roundabout would be the best alternative to improve the three intersections, but no one intersection is in greater need for a redesign in the short-term.

“Once we get closer to actually funding any of these intersections, we will reevaluate the design for each intersection.”

As for the funding aspect, Finance Director Kevin McCann estimates the combined cost for the three projects will total nearly 3.7-million dollars, but says they don’t have any funding identified.

“There’s possible funding available through MnDOT with some state aid dollars. But a lot of that has been identified years out, so again, that’s another reason why we are putting it toward the tail end. If we get to a point where we kind of get all caught up on our state aid projects, then we can look at allocating some of those funds.”

McCann adds that the improvements will most likely happen when the street itself is in need of repair.

“Those streets are all in pretty good shape at this point, so we’ll just kinda keep it status quo for now. Just do the maintenance on them and make sure we’re getting the useful life out of them.”

The three intersection improvements are being included in the 2019-2028 Capital Improvement Plan which is currently in the planning process.