Hwy 14 safety project at Eagle Lake nears completion
Local motorists advised to note traffic changes
MANKATO, Minn. – Highway 14 motorists will be pleased to know that the orange barrels may be gone as soon as Friday, Oct. 28 (weather permitting), but Eagle Lake area drivers will need to follow new traffic directions as the three intersections have been improved to enhance safety.
Safety improvements at three intersections include:
- Highway 14 and Blue Earth County Road 56: An eastbound separated right turn lane and a westbound median acceleration lane
- Highway 14 and Blue Earth County Road 55: A three-quarter intersection with turning restrictions for CR 55
- Highway 14 and Blue Earth County Road 17: J-turn (RCUT)
The most notable change is the J-turn at County Road 17 where motorists approaching Highway 14 from the county road are prohibited from making left turns or crossing Highway 14; instead they are required to turn right on the highway, merge to the far left lane and then make a U-turn at the designated median opening.
J-turns or Reduced Conflict U-Turn intersections (RCUT) are installed in a number of places around the state and locally have been installed on Highway 169 in St. Peter and Le Sueur. They have proven to dramatically reduce fatal and serious injury crashes by minimizing T-bone type crashes as drivers on the side street only need to focus on one direction of highway traffic at a time. To learn more about J-turns and other new traffic safety measures, visit www.mndot.gov/roadwork/rci/
Traffic from County Road 55 will be able to turn right onto eastbound Highway 14 but not cross the highway to head west. Turning options for all traffic on Highway 14 remain unchanged.
County Road 56 now has an offset and extended eastbound right turn lane to safely accommodate traffic reducing speeds to enter Eagle Lake from the west and a separate acceleration lane tor westbound traffic heading towards Mankato.
MnDOT worked with Blue Earth County and the city of Eagle Lake to make safety improvements. The project was awarded Federal Highway Safety Improvement Program funding. The project began in May and was intended to be completed in late September, but rain and added work postponed the completion.
SMC of Mankato was awarded with the contract with a bid of $2.1 million