Trucking companies in Elk River, Minnesota are wanting local authorities to reconsider a proposed roundabout off Highway 10, saying they are unsafe for drivers.
Terry Morrell, owner of Morrell Enterprises, a full service carrier located in Elk River, appeared before the Elk River Economic Development Authority last week to request they think twice before installing a roundabout at the intersection of 171st Avenue and Twin Lakes Road.
Morrell said his company’s trucks are sometimes able to maneuver through roundabouts, but with the size of some of the loads they transport, they often avoid them for safety reasons.
He said trucks in a roundabout can present unsafe conditions for passenger cars.
“It’s kind of been documented that it’s a safer intersection. For semi traffic, I think it actually does the opposite,” Morrell said. “There’s a certain amount of material that can support that, with the blind zones and the way we come in and the way you turn your truck, the ability to see out those mirrors. With the amount of traffic that is in that neighborhood, it’s something that we are very, very concerned about.”
About 400 trucks, and a total of 6,000 vehicles pass through the area of the proposed roundabout each day.
Other trucking companies in the area – LeFebvre Companies, Novco and Sportech – also share concerns about the proposed roundabout, Morrell said.
EDA President Dan Tveite agrees that trucking companies have legitimate concerns, and has no issue in reconsidering the best intersection type. He sees after Morrell’s arguments how a roundabout may not be the best alternative.
“I think this is sort of a unique spot,” Tveite said. “We have three trucking companies right there. They’re all hauling, big rigs and sometimes oversize loads, and a roundabout may not be the best fit.”
Meanwhile, the EDA seems to be looking into the matter. The deputy director said it’s their intention to bring the cost of a proposed study to the City Council for consideration October 6.