Intersection's crash history to lead to more safety changes
WORTHINGTON -- Nobles County commissioners granted authorization Tuesday for its public works department to pursue additional measures to improve safety at the intersection of County State Aid Highway 35 and Nobles County 13 north of Rushmore.
The action came following another fatal car crash Friday at the intersection.
Public Works Director Stephen Schnieder said he received several calls regarding the dangers of the intersection, and spoke of measures already in place. The county increased the size of the stop sign on County Road 13 at the intersection to 48 inches in recent years, using the highest reflective sheeting on those signs, and has rumble strips carved into the road to alert drivers at both the "Stop Ahead" and stop signs.
"What we're doing is very good, but because the problem still exists, putting in more rumble strips at the (Stop Ahead sign) and another set before the stop sign gives you two chances to get their attention," Schnieder said.
In addition to adding a few more rumble strips to those already in the road, he suggested having the existing trenches cut deeper to create a louder sound for motorists.
"Hopefully we can make arrangements with the company that does that for us," Schnieder said, adding that the work could still be done this fall.
Another suggestion made was to install some type of lighting at the corner. That can be done with an overhead flashing light or by installing a stop sign with flashing LED lights.
Schnieder said the LED-lighted stop signs cost approximately $1,700 per sign, for a total cost of $3,400 for both the southbound and northbound traffic on Nobles County 13.
Schnieder will gather more information about the signs and told commissioners he was going to examine the accident history on that corner prior to the next board meeting, scheduled for Oct. 23. In addition, he suggested the board may want to set a policy on when to allow for lighted signs at intersections, saying "you don't want one at every corner."
Commissioner Diane Thier said the lighted signs would really help, while Commissioner Marv Zylstra asked if signage could be installed notifying drivers that cross traffic does not stop. He said there is some confusion about the intersection because there was a temporary four-way stop at the intersection last spring when U.S. 59 and Minnesota 60 traffic was detoured on Nobles County13.
In other action Tuesday, the board:
* Approved requisitions for personnel, including a full-time information technology director and child protection/child welfare social worker. In addition, Stacie Golombiecki was promoted from interim to county community services director, effective Oct. 1.
* Approved an agreement with Springsted Inc. for county administrator recruitment services. The "realistic" start date for a new county administrator is Feb. 1.
* Approved the following second half appropriations: $12,494.50 to the Nobles County Historical Society; $3,347.50 to the Nobles County Art Center; and $10,432 to the Nobles County Fair.
* Authorized payment of $21,523.55 to Vetter-Johnson Architects for professional services from July 1 through Aug. 31. The fees are related to the county's energy efficiency improvement projects. In addition, payment of $27,075 to Jones Caulking and Tuck Pointing was approved for work completed on the Government Center's masonry restoration project; and a $21,264 payment was approved for a maintenance services contract with Paape Companies Inc.
* Elected to participate with multiple counties in a request for proposals seeking viewers for the process of redetermination of benefits for ditch systems in the Minnesota River Basin and surrounding counties.
* Approved a request to close County State Aid Highway 21 and Nobles County 51 in the city of Round Lake for the annual Winterfest fish house parade. The road closure is from 3 to 4 p.m. Nov. 24.
* Approved distribution of United Way contribution cards to county employees. The county has a no-solicitation policy in place, but it was deemed OK for the cards to be distributed however since the United Way funds stay local.
Daily Globe Reporter Julie Buntjer may be reached at 376-7330.