The Fairmont City Council revisited the reconstruction project on Lake Avenue Monday. Scheduled for this year, the $4.8 million project will revamp the stretch of Lake/Blue Earth Avenue from West Fourth Street to South Park Street, revising the thoroughfare from four lanes to two, plus a center turn lane. The area of concern for the council focused on the street’s intersection with Downtown Plaza.
An analysis done by the state determined that the level of traffic does not warrant replacing the traffic signals at the intersection. Different design options were proposed including a flashing light or a single stop sign for northbound traffic by the Fairmont Opera House. After an open house and online public survey to gather feedback from property owners and residents, the design engineers concluded that a mini roundabout was determined to be the safest choice.
City Public Works Director / City Engineer Troy Nemmers noted that a corridor study looked at traffic patterns and density as well as pedestrian and bicycle traffic along the proposed construction route. Nemmers clarified that although parts of the construction project are eligible for state aid, the money could not be used specifically to replace the existing traffic signals since the state deemed them unwarranted.
Nemmers said Bolton & Menk had just received additional safety data that will be compiled and presented to the council and to the public.
The council approved a Facility Plan at the wastewater treatment plant and authorized submittal to the M P C A. The Fairmont City Council also approved increases for both water and wastewater rates this year.