Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Hwy 60 Heron Lake - Intersection Safety Project

Heron Lake

About this project

Summary of work

Traffic impacts

Beginning May 6, 2019:

  • Lane restrictions and speed reductions
  • At least one access to Heron Lake open at all times

RCUT Demonstration Event

MnDOT held an RCUT demonstration event on Hwy 60 in Heron Lake on June 29, 2019. The public was able to practice driving through the first of three new RCUTs, which was at the Hwy/CR9 intersection, on a closed course for the day. The video provides a drone footage from the event, as well as a recap:

Event highlights include:

  • Over 120 vehicles went through, more than 50 people road the transit bus, and agricultural equipment, freight and EMS vehicles attended.
  • While the public learned firsthand at this event, MnDOT also received invaluable education, which is being applied to updated designs and modifications for the Heron Lake RCUTs.
  • These changes include fixing the slope change at the westerly median U-turn of the Hwy 60/CR9 RCUT, where a lowboy semi-truck and the hopper of the 82’ auger had issues. While both vehicles were able to make the turn after vehicle adjustments, MnDOT spoke in-depth with both drivers and recognize modifications will improve operations at that U-turn.
  • The right turn lane was not constructed far enough back on the westbound direction, which will be corrected during construction.
  • MnDOT is also revising vertical clearances for emergency vehicles, should they choose to drive over the center median for an emergency rather than use the RCUT.
  • All modifications will be completed by the end of this construction season, leaving Heron Lake with safe intersections that serve all traffic types.  

Why are these improvements needed?

The 10th Street (Jackson County Road 9) intersection has an above average number of crashes; most of which are right-angle/t-bone crashes. These crashes carry a higher likelihood of serious injury or death. Two of the right-angle crashes that have occurred recently have resulted in three fatalities. Only addressing the problem at 10th Street could result in the problem being relocated to the other intersections that serve Heron Lake, which is why all three intersections are being treated.

Letter to the Editor (Worthington Globe) addressing the need for the safety improvements

More important Information

A visualization was created specifically for one of the Highway 60 J-turns to show motorists how to safely navigate the new intersection design following construction in 2019

More about Reduced Conflict Intersections

How they reduce fatal and injury crashes

How a semitrailer would navigate a Reduced Conflict Intersection