County State Aid Highway 10 (CSAH 10) is a primary connection to Watertown, Mayer and Highway 7, and an important a traffic corridor around the city of Waconia.
A new spur of CSAH 10 at from Highway 5 past Waconia High School opened in November 2018 and Carver County has long-term plans to transition the roadway to a bypass route. However, with the recent improvements and continued growth in the area, the intersection at Highway 10 and Waconia Parkway North has already become a source of frustration for motorists due to congestion and delays, as well as a traffic safety concern. Additional traffic is making it difficult at certain times of the day to enter Highway 10 from Waconia Parkway North.
That intersection and four others in the area have been the focus of recent study to track and analyze traffic volumes and crash data, and evaluate concepts to improve future traffic operations, reduce crash risks and alleviate safety concerns.
Last Monday, Dec. 2, Waconia city officials met with Carver County Public Works directors to analyze the data and discuss potential solutions to address traffic conditions in the area.
The traffic study area stretches from Waconia Parkway North to Oak Ave, including additional intersections at CSAH 10 and 32, CSAH 10 and Waconia Parkway South, and Waconia Parkway South at Pond Lane and Oak Avenue.
The road corridor connects large residential neighborhoods to the high school and middle school, nearby parks and Highway 5. It also passes by a large parcel of land called the Burandt property, which has been the focus of recent development proposals. As development occurs and traffic volumes increase, the corridor becomes an important factor in local and regional mobility, traffic analysts point out.
For now, though, while traffic delays have been experienced during morning and evening peak hours, the latest traffic analysis indicates that neither current traffic volumes nor crash data rise to the level of national guideline warrants for installation of traffic signals or other traffic controls. The report did point out, however, that while all traffic study intersections currently are operating within expected safety and mobility thresholds, as traffic grows delays will continue to increase, potentially degrading traffic flow and safety to unacceptable levels.
The report also outlined various intersection control options such as signals and roundabouts to address future traffic volumes.
The city and county expect to conduct periodic traffic studies to continue to assess conditions. In the meantime, the city will likely conduct soil borings and seek future funding assistance to prepare for future road improvements.