Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News Release

May 25, 2018

Moose Lake roundabout is the correct size, will not be rebuilt

Duluth, Minn. – Last year the Minnesota Department of Transportation constructed a new roundabout in Moose Lake and also completed major improvements to Highways 73, 27 and 289 and on adjacent roadways.
Information is circulating in the Moose Lake area that suggests the roundabout was built too small and will be demolished and then rebuilt. The roundabout is the correct size and is functioning as designed according to MnDOT engineers.

The rumor may have started because motorists see large vehicles driving on the truck aprons around the center island of the roundabout and think they must do this because the roundabout is too small.

“Truck aprons are used on roundabouts to compensate for the off-tracking of oversize vehicles and vehicles with large trailers, said MnDOT District 1 Assistant Traffic Engineer, Morrie Luke.  A truck apron is a raised section of pavement around the central island that acts as an extra lane for large vehicles. The back wheels of the oversize vehicle ride up on the truck apron so the truck can easily complete the turn and is designed to keep regular size vehicles in the main driving lane.“

See a simulation showing oversize vehicles driving on the truck aprons on a roundabout built last summer at the intersection of Highways 169 and 37 in Hibbing.

According to a 2017 study titled, A Study of the Traffic Safety at Roundabouts in Minnesota published by the Minnesota Department of Transportation, “There is no definitive count across Minnesota, but it is likely nearing 200 roundabouts across the state on all roads. They have become an increasingly popular intersection type by traffic engineers, communities, and transportation officials.”

The study also states that there has been an 83 percent reduction in the serious injury crash rate at intersections where roundabouts have been installed in Minnesota.

Roundabouts are safer than traditional intersections, help maintain traffic flow and reduce fuel costs.

For updated road condition information, call 511 or visit 511mn.org