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MnDOT adds safety measures to Eyota intersection

EYOTA — After years of crashes and concerns, and at least two emotion-charged meetings, a safety update at the intersection of U.S. 14 and Minnesota Highway 42 north of Eyota begins today.

Three interim safety measures will be put into place, including flashing LED stop signs installed on the right side of both the north and south legs of Minnesota 42; "Stop Ahead" pavement messages and stop bars repainted on both legs of Minnesota 42; and transverse rumble strips installed on both legs of Minnesota 42.

Nancy Klema, traffic operations engineer for the district, said the process will be complete by the end of the month.

"We'll pull out the old stop signs, put in the new, and the electrician will connect the wires," she said. "We're putting new bituminous down on the north side of 42, then we'll grind in the rumble strips and repaint the pavement messages."

The rumble strips — which will run perpendicular to the highway — come at public demand.


"We actually stopped installing these many years ago," Klema said, "because they didn't seem to be reducing the number of crashes at intersections, but they're the ones that will give you notice that you're approaching the stop sign."

A large crowd at a public meeting April 13 in Eyota included legislators Rep. Mike Benson, R-Rochester and Sen. Carla Nelson, R-Rochester, in addition to MnDOT engineers, city and county officials.

Many of the residents there asked for rumble strips, including Terry Johnson, of St. Charles, whose unborn son died after a crash at that intersection in 2007.

"What I almost demand you do is to look at this intersection, and make decisions based on this intersection," he said in April. "The way you've been doing this is not working. I don't want to hear any more about studies."

The long-term solution is a roundabout, Klema said, "and we're trying to get funding for that." It's estimated to cost about $2 million.

A roundabout would likely take two to four years, officials say, because of the design and right-of-way acquisition process.

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