Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News Release

Sept. 16, 2016

Orange barrels on a highway

Southbound Interstate 35 lane left lane closed for cable median barrier installation

ROCHESTER, Minn. – Motorists traveling southbound on Interstate 35 south of Owatonna will encounter a left lane closure, while construction crews install high tension cable barrier, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

The left lane is closed from milemarker 21 north of Ellendale to milemarker 31 south of Geneva. The work has begun and is expected to be completed by Oct. 21. The 9.2-mile project is being done by Erickson Builders & Co. of St. Michael, Minn., for $1.1 million.

The southbound highway is reduced to one lane through this area to allow road construction work,   work on the shoulder and in the median. Delays are possible, so motorists should plan ahead based on time of day and level of traffic using the road.

Lane closures will not be allowed after 2 p.m. on Friday and will resume on Mondays. Location of temporary lane closures will change during the project, typically progressing from north to south, as work is completed.

To learn more about cable median barriers and the role they play in traffic safety in Minnesota, please go to MnDOT’s web page: www.dot.state.mn.us/trafficeng/reports/cmbarrier.html

Cable median barriers can reduce fatal crashes by 95 percent. The barriers are made of three or four steel cables strung on posts. When a car hits the barrier, the posts break and the cables flex, absorbing much of a crash’s kinetic energy. This redirects the vehicle along the median, preventing a cross-median crash.

When a vehicle hits a section of cable barrier, maintenance crews can repair the damaged section quickly. The barriers are carried on steel posts that slide into concrete sleeves. If the barrier is damaged, the posts slide out easily to allow a new cable section to be installed.

In addition to the ability to lessen crash severity, the cable barriers cost less than permanent concrete barriers.

MnDOT urges motorists to always be attentive, drive with caution, slow down in work zones and never enter a road blocked with barriers or cones. For real-time traffic and travel information in Minnesota, visit www.511mn.org, call 5-1-1 or log on to www.mndot.gov.