MnDOT informs public on I-90/Highway 52 interchange reconstruction plans
Construction on the project is currently slated for 2024 and 2025.
MARION TOWNSHIP — The Minnesota Department of Transportation held a public meeting Wednesday, June 22, 2022, at the Marion Road Christian Church to discuss the impending Interstate 90/U.S. Highway 52 interchange reconstruction project.
MnDOT plans to replace the Interstate 90 bridges going over Highway 52, but also construct a new fly-over ramp on southbound Highway 52 turning onto eastbound I-90. The project aims to eliminate left-hand turns at the intersection, 92% of which take place southbound Highway 52 turning onto eastbound I-90.
Construction on the project is currently slated for 2024 and 2025 as the project is still in its preliminary design stages.
“In the last five years, we’ve had 27 crashes associated with that southbound left turn,” MnDOT project manager Chad Hanson said. “That’s definitely above average for that type of movement and a lot of those are some of the more dangerous crashes with the left turn crossing into other ones and are injury crashes.”
Hanson said the new fly-over ramp will also eliminate the traffic pile-up that occurs on that left-hand turn going onto eastbound I-90. MnDOT predicts there will be a 60% reduction in traffic on southbound Highway 52.
This project will also reconstruct all ramps and loops at the intersection. Hanson specifically noted during his presentation the westbound I-90 ramp onto northbound Highway 52 as there have been 25 crashes on this ramp in the last five years, many of these crashes being run-off-the-road crashes.
The large culverts under the interchange ramps are also being replaced.
Eyota resident Shawn O’Neill, who frequently takes the left-hand turn from southbound Highway 52 onto eastbound I-90, said the project is a positive change to the interchange.
“If you can get that traffic from southbound Highway 52 to eastbound I-90 out of the mix and in its own separate lane, I think it’ll be a good design feature to cut down on the amount of traffic and number of accidents,” O’Neill said.
Marion Township Board Chairperson Roger Bjerke agreed with O’Neill, saying the project was overdue.
“It’s been a long time coming and we’ve needed it for a long time,” Bjerke said. “Personally, I would’ve liked to see a full cloverleaf put in rather than the fly-over but I understand there’s a few issues with that, but it’s going to help a lot.”
Bjerke added what many Marion residents voiced during the public meeting that he still wishes to see the speed limit reduced through Marion. Currently, the speed limit through Marion is 60 mph.
“As many brought up during the meeting, 60 mph is too fast just with the corners and visibility, so I hope this address that,” he said.
For more information on the Interstate 90/Highway 52 interchange reconstruction project, visit MnDOT’s project website at https://www.dot.state.mn.us/d6/projects/i90-hwy52/index.html .