City Council discusses downtown intersections

Published 5:43 pm Tuesday, November 8, 2022

During Monday night’s work session, the council held discussion on downtown street lights and stop signs at four downtown intersections.

The conversation revolved around First Street and Fourth Avenue NW, First Street and First Drive NW, North Main Street and Fourth Avenue NW and North Main Street and Second Avenue NW.

City Engineer Steven Lang went over the options for each intersection that include existing means of traffic control along with alternatives.

The City of Austin is planning a reconstruction of First Street NW next year, which involves the first two intersection in the discussion.

Council voted unanimously to move forward to a regular meeting with a four-way stop at First Street and Fourth Avenue NW at an estimated cost of $1,200 and then voted for a two-way stop at First Street and First Drive NW by a 5-1 vote. Councilmember Mike Postma voted in favor of a roundabout option, which Lang recommended at a cost of $260,000. The two-way will come in at a cost of $600.

The next two projects are set for 2024 with council unanimously voting in favor of a four-way stop at North Main Street and Fourth Avenue NW at an estimated cost of $150,000 and a two-way stop at North Main Street and Second Avenue NW for an estimated cost of $150,000.

The council will vote to adopt these options at its next schedule meeting.

In other news:

• The council voted in favor of adding two full time tree trimmer positions.

• It also approved a contract with SRF and the Minnesota Department of Transportation for design services on Fourth Street NW as part of the Interstate 90 corridor bridge project for $74,283. The cost of the work covers a stretch of Fourth Street NW from the Interstate 90 bridge to 13th Avenue NW.

• The council also approved a contract with Armon Architecture, Inc. for $21,500, which was already earmarked in the budget, for the Austin Public Library construction project.