Open house on Watertown bridge alignment set for Thursday

Westbound traffic across the Territorial Street bridge became backed up earlier this year. The city council will be seeking input from residents Thursday on their preferences for bridge and intersection options.

Westbound traffic across the Territorial Street bridge became backed up earlier this year. The city council will be seeking input from residents Thursday on their preferences for bridge and intersection options.

The Watertown City Council will hold another public input open house this Thursday evening, April 18, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The meeting will be an open house format, where residents and other interested parties can stop in at any time during the two hours to chat with city council members and city staff members on a 1-on-1 basis.

While last month’s open house was designed simply to hear feedback from residents on the historical significance of the old bridge, this open house is intended to hear feedback from residents regarding several possible alignment alternatives for a new downtown bridge across the Crow River.

Possible alternatives range from rehabbing the bridge in its current alignment to construction of a new, expanded bridge with a new alignment. The city is also expected to use $350,000 in Local Road Improvement Project funding from the Minnesota Department of Transportation to reconstruct the intersection on the west end of the bridge at Lewis Avenue and Territorial Street. Options for that intersection, designed to improve traffic flow during peak morning and afternoon hours, include either changing the intersection from a four-way stop to a two-way stop, where Territorial would become a through street, or constructing a roundabout. It may also be possible to leave the intersection as a four-way stop, but likely only if the intersection is not reconstructed and is left the way it is.

More information on the history of the bridge project, the need for it, and project alternatives can be viewed on the city Web site, www.ci.watertown.mn.us.

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