There have been five property damage accidents in the past three days on Northwest Fourth Street in the construction nightmare zone and Brainerd Police Chief John Bolduc advises motorists to be patient.
Drivers have had to sit through several signal light rotations to try to get across Washington Street on Northwest Fourth Street. Once they cross Washington Street from the south, drivers have another traffic jam near the Northwest Fourth Street and James Street intersection to deal with. There are vehicles -- usually a block long on James Street -- trying to get onto Northwest Fourth Street.
Bolduc said Thursday in a telephone interview that the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Crow Wing County Highway Department are doing the best they can to get traffic through the construction area. He said the engineers have timed the stoplights accordingly to help the traffic flow.
"We need to be patient and we need to take more time to get through town," said Bolduc. "Motorists should avoid that route if possible."
Alternative routes to avoid the bottleneck at Northwest Fourth Street include the newly expanded Charles Street, which runs south of the Highway 210 businesses, or the temporary road created in the Westgate Mall parking lot. Both roads provide access to the stoplight near Pizza Hut.
When asked if the police department could have officers help direct the traffic in the congested area near Northwest Fourth Street and James Street, Bolduc said this would only make matters worse.
Of the five accidents, two accidents were at the intersection of Northwest Fourth Street and James Street and the other three were at the intersection of Northwest Fourth Street and Washington Street.
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