Concern over busy intersection near Lakeville North High School

- As the school year gets underway, officials in Lakeville have some big worries about this intersection right outside Lakeville North High School.

Nearby construction detours have caused a big traffic increase along Dodd Boulevard, a popular route used to turn into the school’s entrance road.

"As parent, you worry about it,” said Kathryn Anderberg, a parent of a Lakeville North High School student. “I think we all worry about kids and driving. They seem young to us. They're just learning. I think teen driving is a fear of all parents."

On Tuesday, students at Lakeville North High School will return to the classroom after summer vacation. Many will drive. The school district and the local police want students to avoid the intersection at Dodd Boulevard and 194th Street just off campus, especially at dismissal.

Officials are particularly concerned about left-hand turns onto Dodd, where traffic has increased significantly because of detours from heavy-duty road construction nearby.

Lakeville North High School junior Matthew Lorence says it’s an intersection he typically tries to avoid.

"I actually personally take the other way,” said Lorence. “I don't take Dodd. I think too much traffic. I take the other way out."

Law enforcement is encouraging all teen drivers getting back into the school routine by slowing down and shutting off their phones.

The message resonates for a Lakeville North community that has seen its share of roadway tragedy in recent years, including the death of Alyssa Ettl and the loss of two students in a distracted driving crash linked to a game of Nerf wars.

"I was there. I had to give two families victim notification at the scene - that kids were killed from a totally preventable crash,” said Sgt. Chris Melton, Dakota County Sheriff’s Office. “Telling a parent that their kid if dead is heart wrenching."

To avoid another death or serious accident, officials want students to leave the high school Tuesday on Ipava Avenue and stay away from Dodd Boulevard.

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