Student Safety Concerns Spur Proposed Mayhew Lake Road Changes | #schoolsaftey

(KNSI) – Benton County and Sauk Rapids-Rice School District officials say they want to avoid another five-vehicle crash, like the one that happened last year at the high school.

They are asking for bonding money to facilitate a revamp of Mayhew Lake Road between Highway 23 and County Road 29. Superintendent Bradley Bergstrom says the stretch has all of the ingredients to create a deadly incident.

“Some of our newest drivers, that are high school-age students, the day ends, they’re happy to be out of school. They’re with their friends, and they’re entering out into traffic on Mayhew Lake Road, where cars are going 40 to 55 miles an hour. Kids are in a hurry. They’re not looking, they’re not paying attention. And, to me, it is an accident, no pun intended, waiting to happen.”

Bergstrom says student safety is one of the issues that keeps him up at night. He experienced a situation involving a fatal crash at a previous district, and he says it was a tragedy that was felt by the entire community. He says the potential problem is exacerbated here because so many activities happen off-site.

Bergstrom points to winter time, where driving can be tricky due to weather for people of all experience levels. The hockey teams practice somewhere else every day, meaning athletes are rushing to get to practice. Bergstrom tells KNSI News there are many other examples he could cite.

Even before the two-year construction project on Highway 10, Mayhew Lake Road had been picking up new travelers. Bergstrom believes many have discovered it as a way to get to their cabins and vacations up in Lakes Country and the Northwoods more quickly.

“People are utilizing Mayhew Lake Road to get around the corridor that runs between Sauk Rapids and coming through St. Cloud, and just easier for them to get around. And we only see that traffic increasing.”

The county wants to turn the stretch into four lanes with a median. A hiking and biking trail would run along one side. A sidewalk for pedestrians would be on the other. Eight intersections would be converted into roundabouts to slow traffic down.


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