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City leaders in East Grand Forks applying for roundabout grants

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EAST GRAND FORKS, MN (WDAZ)—One city has a solution to taming traffic that could change your route to and from work.

But some people say there are plenty of reasons why the road should stay as it is.

WDAZ’s Kenneth Chase looked into the plans to change the intersection of Bygland and Rhinehart in East Grand Forks.

Traffic can be non-stop.

Some neighbors say they sometimes walk out into the street to stop traffic in order to back out of their driveways.

"It gets busy in the morning at 8 and it gets busy when school lets out,” said East Grand Forks resident, Alan Sonnenberg.

With a forecasted population increase, the congestion here during rush hour, is only going to get worse.

Sometimes Alan Sonnenberg can't even turn left out of his driveway.

"I can back out with my truck or car and I'll swing around the block and catch Rhinehart to get back on Bygland," said Sonnenberg.

And since he's not alone, City leaders paid for a study that says a roundabout is the safest option at this intersection.

"The problem is we don't have the money,” said City Councilmember Henry Tweten.

The City Council wants to apply for state grants of up to a million dollars to pay for the project.

But Sonnenberg isn't sure this is the right solution.

"A lot of elderly people are cautious when it comes to roundabouts,” said Sonnenberg.

Plus, the four houses here would likely have to come down—but Sonnenberg wants a south end bridge instead—an idea that’s been proposed several times over the last few decades, but right now, there’s no money for that either.

Sonnenberg just hopes someone comes up with a solid solution soon.

The city council has until Friday to apply for the state grants of up to 1 million dollars.

You can view the attached PDF to view the intersection evaluation.