Ryan's Road signals to be activated Tuesday
WORTHINGTON -- If you haven't ventured north of the big corner lately, the newly placed stoplights at the intersection of Ryan's Road and U.S. 59 may sneak up on you.
Motorists should plan for a readjustment period beginning Tuesday, when the four-way signals are tentatively scheduled for testing and activation.
Though workers installed the signal equipment just this week, the signals are part of a larger road improvement project several years in the making.
A 2006 Minnesota Department of Transportation study revealed the city's future traffic patterns would block up the current infrastructure, necessitating a number of improvements before 2025.
"The volumes of traffic warranted a signal," said City Engineer Dwayne Haffield. "The level of service (at that intersection) was F level. Even trying to go across 59, that level of service was very poor."
Motorists traveling north and south on U.S. 59, east on Ryan's Road, and west on the frontage road east of U.S. 59 will all need to obey the new stoplights.
Though there have been some accidents at that intersection, Haffield said it wasn't safety concerns that necessitated the change.
Among other improvements are the extension of medians at the Oxford Street-U.S. 59 intersection and addition of a median on Ryan's Road at the intersection with U.S. 59.; eastbound drivers are no longer able to turn left into the Arby's parking lot. The frontage road that used to divide McDonald's, Subway, et al. from the highway is now a backage road that runs behind the businesses.
The total project cost is roughly $1.56 million: $600,000 in federal funding, $360,000 in street state aid and state trunk highway funds, and $605,000 in local funding provided through Tax Increment Financing (most of the local cost is for Right-of-Way acquisition).
"It's going to take time to adjust," Haffield said. "But I think people are waiting for it. It's been tough to get on 59 for quite some time."