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Monday - July 10, 2017 2:57 am

Roundabout open for first morning work commute

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Part of a $2.3 million project along three-block area.

This morning will be the first for many work commuters navigating La Crosse's first roundabout.

The roundabout on Cass St. in La Crosse is part of $2.3 million construction project along a three-block stretch that is now complete.

Placed at sort of a staggered intersection on Cass, Wisconsin Dept. of Transportation project manager Todd Waldo believes it'll be safer and more efficient.

"It's just a one-lane roundabout," Waldo said. "You don't have to worry about getting into the right lane - the correct lane. You just go through. If you miss your turn, you keep going around and find it the next time.

"Speeds are reduced, so you have people slowing down, definitely 10-15 miles per hour, going into and through the roundabout."

Waldo also insists that, despite a lack of light signals, the roundabout will actually prove to be safer for drivers and pedestrians.

"With signalized intersections, you had to cross 30-40 feet at a time and, even with a green light or a crosswalk, they still had to worry about left- or right-turning vehicles," Waldo said. "I know people are worried about that - roundabout and pedestrians - but it definitely seems a lot safer in that regard for pedestrians."

Despite all the talk on safety, there has already been an accident in the roundabout.

But that was before it opened.

Earlier this month, a drunk motorcyclist bypassed barricades while the area was still closed to traffic and crashed. That story's here.

Last modified on Monday - July 10, 2017 6:04 am
Mitch Reynolds

Mitch Reynolds is the News Director at Midwest Family Broadcasting. He covers the internecine agonies of La Crosse city hall. He really likes basketball.

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