By David Little
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council does not support a proposed design favored by Kandiyohi County and the Minnesota Department of Transportation to improve traffic safety and reduce crashes at the Business 71/County Road 24/23rd Street Northeast intersection.
The council Monday night defeated a motion supporting a proposed design alternative known as No. 3½ that MnDOT and the county feel is the best solution to reducing severe vehicle damage and injury from crashes at the intersection.
The vote, taken during a 4-hour and 15-minute meeting, was 5-3. Council members voting against the motion were Jim Dokken, Rick Fagerlie, Bruce DeBlieck, Denis Anderson and Steve Ahmann. Council members voting in favor were Tim Johnson, Doug Reese and Ron Christianson.
Those voting against the motion said the design was dangerous and said it would move crashes elsewhere along the Business 71 corridor. Council members voting in favor said the council had to do something to reduce intersection crashes.
Officials at MnDOT and the county have said both entities would share construction costs with the city.