Hubbard County Public Works Coordinator Jed Nordin shared the results of three speed studies conducted by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) on County Road 89, County State Aid Highway (CSAH) 1 and CSAH 4.
Residents on CSAH 1 submitted a petition requesting that study, Nordin reminded the Hubbard County Board at Tuesday’s meeting.
The county sought a speed study for County 89 – from U.S. Hwy. 71 to one mile north, due to hills and curves, limited width, several residences and two restaurants accessing directly onto the road. It is currently posted 55 mph.
The county also recommended a speed study for CSAH 4. Based on the study results, MnDOT agreed that CSAH 4 would be a likely candidate for a 60 mph speed limit, Nordin said.
On CSAH 1, the segment from the Park Rapids city limits to CSAH 18 is currently posted 45 mph with a 30 mph curve advisory. There have been three reported crashes between 2011 and 2015.
Nordin said speed data was gathered at four locations along the road, with 85 percent of traffic traveling between 47 and 51 mph.
The MnDOT study says, “Based on the road characteristics, crash history review, test drives and speed data we recommend keeping CSAH 1 posted at 45 mph. Other signing could be used for bicyclist and pedestrian awareness, if desired.”
“That’s what traffic is traveling,” Nordin said. “That’s what it’s signed for.”
Residents were hoping the speed limit would be reduced. After speaking with the Hubbard County Sheriff’s Office, Nordin said possible alternatives are putting up “share the road” signs and an “advisory speed,” which isn’t enforceable but may help.
MnDOT recommended a 45 mph limit from the U.S. Hwy. 71 junction to 8,765 feet (or a little over a mile) north. “Then it would revert back to the 55 mph,” Nordin said.
The study says that the road, running along Island Lake, is in a resort and summer cabin area. There have been no reported crashes between Jan. 1, 2011 and Dec. 31, 2015.
“The road geometrics limit the speed that drivers can navigate through the area,” and speed data showed 85th percentile results of 45.5 mph until 3,280 feet north of Hwy. 71 and 55 mph approximately 8,765 north of Hwy. 71.
MnDOT collected speed data at two locations along CSAH 4, with an 85 percent of traffic moving between 64.4 and 66.5 mph.
“So they have no problem recommending this one to be bumped up to 60 mph,” Nordin said. “It would still have the reduced speed through Emmaville.”
There were 14 crashes on CSAH 4 between 2011 and 2015. CSAH 4 is described as a 10-ton roadway with 12-foot driving lanes, and 7 to 8 feet paved with 1-foot aggregate shoulders. Access density is 10.54 accesses per mile.
“Given the crash pattern history, the curves need to be checked to ensure that the horizontal warning signs are in compliance with the MUTCD (Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices) for 60 mph,” the report states.
Nordin said the county highway department will check the existing signs on the curves.
The county board approved the higher speed limit for CSAH 4.
After MnDOT sends the letters of authorization, Nordin said the new speed limits will be posted on both County 89 and CSAH 4.
In related business, the board did as follows:
Approved final payment of $2,718 to Mark Sand & Gravel Company for the County Road 89 project.
Approved final payment of $169,897 to Knife River Materials for Laporte area road projects.
Approved final payment of $185,285 to Envirotech Services for liquid calcium chloride.
Approved final payment of $12,674 payment to haataja Contracting Inc. for roof repair on the county engineering garage.
Classified nine tax-forfeited land parcels as “non-conservation” so they may be put up for sale.
Reviewed the results of the Nov. 22 tax-forfeited land sale. County Land Commissioner Chip Lohmeier said five of the 15 parcels sold, for a total of $24,300.
Accepted the low quote of $7,595 from Bert’s Truck Equipment of Moorhead for a 14-foot, steel-edged box plow for the county solid waste department.