Highway 21 detour for 2020

MnDOT’s planned detour will create a circular route taking drivers from Highway 21 out to Highway 169 by Jordan Supper Club and return them to Highway 282 and Highway 21. City Engineer Mike Waltman suspects drivers will cut through Aberdeen Avenue and Sunset Drive to avoid the lengthy detour.

State officials told Jordan city staff Monday plans to build a roundabout at Creek Lane will be delayed a year.

Minnesota Department of Transportation representatives said the city’s roundabout project isn’t compatible with Highway 21 bridge replacement projects slated for that same year, so the city will have to put the roundabout on hold until 2021.

In December, the city council approved plans to build a roundabout at the intersection of Creek Lane and Highway 282, widen Creek Lane and install access routes to Highway 282. The project was set to begin in 2020, but MnDOT plans to replace two bridges along Highway 21 that year. The bridges cross Sand Creek and the Union Pacific Railroad.

When city staff met with MnDOT representatives Monday morning to coordinate upcoming projects, they were told the roundabout will be delayed because an adequate detour route cannot be established with both projects be done at the same time. City Administrator Tom Nikunen told the council later that day there was little room for the city to negotiate.

“They had eight or nine people on their side in the conversation. I felt like the meeting was over before we got there,” Nikunen said. “I don’t think there was any way to sway them today. They were all there to tell us we’re not doing the project in 2020.”

MnDOT officials said the detour route for the Highway 21 bridge projects cannot exist if Highway 282 is closed at Creek Lane for roundabout construction. MnDOT’s planned detour will create a circular route taking drivers from Highway 21 onto Old Highway 169 all the way to Delaware Avenue, where drivers can access Highway 169 (via the Jordan Supper Club) and return to Highway 282 and Highway 21.

With MnDOT’s detour in effect, residents of Bridle Creek will have to travel about five miles to get to Radermacher’s Super Value — adding 3.5 miles to the regular route. Several council members expressed little faith in the detour plan.

“I bet you over 50 percent of that traffic on (Highway) 21 will go through Jordan rather than that detour,” Councilman Bill Heimkes said. “I just can’t see it.”

“Right, the thing that they’re trying to avoid is going to happen anyway,” Councilwoman Amanda Schuh added.

City Engineer Mike Waltman suspects plenty of drivers will cut through Aberdeen Avenue, Hillside Drive and Sunset Drive to avoid the lengthy detour.

“I can tell you from my view of this there are certainly going to be some negative impacts whether these happen both the same year or separate years... with people cutting through.”

Waltman said the city will discuss increasing police presence in the area to enforce safe driving behavior along the detour route.

MnDOT estimates the bridge project will last from March to October 2020, which means the detour will be in effect for eight months.

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