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‘Whoa,’ say Ely officials to MnDOT plan that would create a ‘one-stoplight town’

One of the city’s three sets of traffic signals is scheduled to come down, and there’s talk of removing a second one.

A plan to eliminate one set of stoplights in Ely and maybe take down a second set in the future doesn’t sound good to some city officials.

There are only three intersections in the city with stoplights, and while officials have long lobbied for a fourth, that seems unlikely now.

“We’re not a one-stoplight town,” Ely Mayor Roger Skraba said, after hearing what the Minnesota Department of Transportation has in mind, says the Ely Echo.

This summer the state will renovate Hwy. 169 as it runs through town as the main drag, and at the time plans to eliminate the traffic signal at the corner of Sheridan Street and First Avenue East.

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And when the work is complete, the state will evaluate whether lights at a second intersection, at Sheridan And Third Avenue East, should come down, too.

City council members seem ready to fight any plans to remove the lights on Third, even as they’re getting used to losing the lights on First.

But at least there is no suggestion from MnDOT of eliminating the lights at Sheridan and Central.