BEMIDJI -- The first of four roundabouts planned for Division Street opened this past weekend, and, so far, traffic has been moving smoothly.

The project, located at Division Street and Jefferson Avenue, is estimated to cost a cool $1 million, finished paving Friday and according to Beltrami County Engineer Bruce Hasbargen, is about 90 percent done. Remaining work on the project includes paint striping, street lighting and installing permanent signage.

And while construction hasn’t been totally completed, though, Hasbargen said Monday that traffic has been moving through the roundabout without many issues, and his office hasn’t received any calls about difficulties.

The roundabout at Jefferson Avenue is the first of four planned along Division Street. The other three are set for: the entrance of Bemidji High School and the intersections at Adams Avenue and Becida Road.

The Becida Road roundabout will also be near the future entrance to the Gene Dillon Elementary School, scheduled to open in the 2018-2019 school year.

Bidding for the next three roundabouts is scheduled to start in spring, Hasbargen said and construction will start in summer.

Roundabouts aren’t entirely new to the Bemidji area. There are several located at the Sanford Center parking lot to help traffic come and go.

According to data compiled by the Minnesota Department of Transportation, roundabouts have been shown to be safer than standard intersections. For example, accidents are less likely to be head-on or at right angles, meaning if there are crashes, they are often fender benders rather than T-bone accidents.

In a study conducted by MnDOT that researched 24 intersections around the Twin Cities, the number of fatal crashes or crashes where someone was injured were reduced dramatically after roundabouts were built. The total number of crashes reduced 30 percent, crashes resulting in injury dropped 65 percent and the amount of fatal crashes went down 80 percent.

To better navigate roundabouts, MnDOT released the following tips for motorists:

Slow down when approaching the roundabout. For-multi-lane roundabouts, as with any intersection, get into the appropriate lane.

Yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk.

Yield to vehicles already in the roundabout and merge into the traffic flow when it’s safe.

Continue through the roundabout until you reach your exit. Don’t stop or pass in a roundabout.

Exit the roundabout immediately if an emergency vehicle approaches and then pull over. Do not stop in the roundabout.

Give larger trucks extra space in a roundabout. Large trucks may straddle both lanes while driving through roundabout with more than one lane.

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