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Letter: A decision that cost a life

In regards to last week's letter from Bob Skor, I want to thank him for a letter that I could not have written better myself. I too drive on Highway 71 every day to work and think the same way he does. Why did we need the bike path, and how often is it used? Why are those wind turbines not both turning daily? I would think it would be a waste of money to not have them moving constantly. And why did we add the cable system down Highway 71 and eliminate a turn lane? I have the answer to this one.

I own a business on 41st Avenue, and after petitioning to keep the turn lane open, we were told by MnDOT that they were closing this lane, not because it was a hazard but because they had stimulus money to spend. The project involved adding median posts and cables to avoid head-on collisions, which is ridiculous, if you have ever noticed how wide the ditch is on North Highway 71. It was never an issue in 20 years. Then, the MnDOT engineer made the decision to take out the 41st Avenue turn lane, stating he did not want any breaks in the cable, even though there were already two other intersection breaks. He had no other reasoning.

First off, I believe this money could have been far better spent elsewhere on roads that need it.

Secondly, while observing the road work during the project and how the traffic is being rerouting to the other intersections, we noticed one car accident and nearly three other accidents the first day.

There have been numerous accidents since then, including one fatality of a young girl. There had only been one accident in the past 20 years on the 41st Avenue intersection. This senseless decision has not only damaged our businesses on 41st Avenue, but it has also cost a life.

I would really like to know why these decisions are made without the consideration of the community and the individuals involved. After all, we live here and pay taxes too!

Melanie Garberich


Melanie Garberich, Willmar