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Lake Road-Woodbury Drive intersection open, roundabout restriping to begin

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Woodbury Drive construction is moving along with one busy intersection now partially open to traffic.

The new Woodbury Drive and Lake Road roundabout is all done, but only open to eastbound and westbound traffic. The north-south portion of Woodbury Drive will remain closed until road paving is complete.

“They were really focusing on getting that intersection open just to help with that traffic,” said Mindy Leadholm, Washington County communications coordinator. “The roundabout is paved all around.”

Woodbury Drive has been closed since April as crews fix up the aging road from Park Crossing down to St. Ambrose Church.

Another roundabout will also be installed at Bailey Road and Woodbury Drive to continue with the county’s theme of improving safety and mobility.

Although the roundabouts will be single-lane going east and west, they will be multi-lane going north and south.

County and city officials urge drivers to use the posted detours instead of cutting through residential neighborhoods for safety reasons.

Leadholm said drivers couldn’t quite figure out the detours at the beginning of this construction season, however, they seem to have a better handle on things now.

“Once people figured it out I think it’s been going pretty well,” she said.

The project is still in phase one of construction, which will go through the end of July. After that, the contractor is expected to completely open the Lake Road intersection and begin work on the Bailey Road-Woodbury Drive roundabout.

Another project that’s currently stalling traffic in southern Woodbury is the south leg of the roundabout at Radio Drive and Bailey Road.

Washington County is fixing up Radio Drive south of the roundabout to Hargis Parkway.

Leadholm said the same contractor is working on both projects, which is making it easier to juggle both schedules without closing too many intersections all at once.

The county is also planning to re-stripe the Bailey Road-Radio Drive roundabout by the end of July so that it’s consistent with the single-lane plan in the east-west directions.

“We’re eliminating the ability to use the right hand lane to drive through the roundabout,” Washington County traffic engineer Joe Gustafson said. “We’re going to restrict that to right-turn only.”

The roundabout was never intended for left turns from the outside right lane, so the re-striping and signage will still keep it operational and help eliminate driver mistakes.

The second most common mistake is when drivers fail to yield to traffic already in the roundabout.

“It was never OK to do that, but now it will actually be physically prevented,” he said. “This is a little bit like putting the training wheels back on.”

County engineers say the roundabout was built with future traffic in mind, which is why it’s multi-lane. But so far traffic has not dictated a multi-lane roundabout in all four directions.

The designs of the roundabouts will be reviewed as traffic patterns increase in the next decade or so, Gustafson said.

Riham Feshir
Riham Feshir is a reporter and photographer for the Woodbury Bulletin. Her coverage includes Woodbury City Hall, Washington County Board of Commissioners and business news.  Follow Riham on Twitter @RihamFeshir for the latest updates.