St. Francis approves Hwy. 47 beacon

Although it does not have approval from the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), St. Francis is moving forward with adding safety features to Highway 47.

The council Aug. 6 unanimously approved the final plans and specifications for the installation of a rectangular rapid flashing beacon at the intersection of Highway 47 and Pederson Drive and advertised for bids, pending approval of the plans by MnDOT.

The project will also add concrete pedestrian ramps on the road, said City Engineer Jared Voge.

The plans will be submitted to MnDOT for approval, he said.

It is unlikely the project will be done before the end of October based on the availability of the poles, Voge said.

The estimated cost of the project is $110,000. Funding is proposed as 50 percent from city and 50 percent from the St. Francis School District 15.

This intersection has have several accidents over the years and the city and the school board are working together to make a safer intersection, said City Administrator Matt Hylen.

According to police reports, there were nearly 30 accidents at the intersection, some involving pedestrians, between August 2000 and October 2011.

More recent accident data was not available by deadline.

The city and the district have had to team up to make this a safer intersection because state traffic rules will not allow for a stop light, Hylen said.

The proposed beacons will be installed on arms above the road, making it easier for drivers to see, he said.

The current road side beacons are hard to see. If a vehicle stops in the right lane, the driver in the left lane cannot see them, Hylen said.

Tammy Sakry is at [email protected]

  • Diana Johnson

    I would like to comment on this column.
    I have been a Saint Francis resident about 28 years and can not believe MNDOT decisions about HWY 47.
    First of all – every little town has a speed limit of 40 to go through there town that only has a bar and gas station.

    When we ask to get a stop light -answer NO – we want to lower speed limit – NO.
    Now we are trying just for when school is in session.
    First of all I think it should be 40 at all times.
    If you go South from CR RD28 – it is 50 until just before the crosswalk it goes up to 55.

    I think it is great our kids want to walk and get exercise.
    We have alot of events going on- so instead of using vehicles people are walking.

    Saint Francis is growing fast.
    How many – more kids and adults get hit or killed before something changes.

    MNDOT -Do the descent thing and lower the speed limit to 40 all the time.
    From County Rd 28 (Ambassador Blvd) to 227th Ave.