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City changes intersection at Third St., Litchfield Ave. to four-way stop

A vehicle is seen Tuesday as it approaches the downtown intersection of Third Street and Litchfield Avenue Southwest. The Willmar Police Department has placed a moveable four-way stop sign in the middle of the intersection. Tribune photo by Gary Miller

WILLMAR -- Motorists are advised that the city has changed the downtown intersection of Third Street and Litchfield Avenue Southwest from a two-way stop to a four-way stop.

The change means that traffic traveling north and south on Third Street will now be required to stop at Litchfield Avenue.

Traffic traveling east and west on Litchfield Avenue was already required to stop at the intersection.

The Willmar Police Department placed a moveable four-way stop sign in the middle of the intersection on Tuesday.

Permanent corner stop signs are in place.

Public Works Director Holly Wilson said the mobile stop sign will remain in place for a couple of weeks until the driving public becomes accustomed to the four-way stop at that intersection.

She said the change will make the intersection consistent with other downtown intersections. There had not been a four-way stop at the intersection because ambulances had used Third Street to bring patients to Rice Memorial Hospital.

However, the Third Street entrance is no longer needed because the emergency entrance was moved to Second Street when the hospital was remodeled.

Willmar City Council member Doug Reese said the council has debated the Third Street and Litchfield Avenue intersection for many years. He said the council has given city staff the authority to determine signage in this manner for these types of situations.

Wilson said she talked to Willmar Ambulance Service, which agreed with the decision to create a four-way stop at the intersection. Wilson said putting the moveable four-way stop in the intersection will help people get used to stopping.

"I do know that you would expect that there would be a four-way stop there if you didn't know the area,'' Wilson said.

-- David Little

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