Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News Release

Nov. 24, 2020

Latest news releases

I-35 southbound Straight River Rest Area reopened after construction

OWATONNA, Minn. – The southbound Interstate 35 Straight River Rest Area south of Owatonna has reopened after construction was finished, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

The Straight River Rest Area has been closed since mid-August. Project work included:

  • Repaving existing parking lots and access ramps
  • Reconstructing sidewalks along rest area parking lots
  • Upgrading and expanding parking lot lighting systems

Ulland Brothers was the contractor for the $2 million project. It was part of projects that improved rest areas on northbound I-35 at Heath Creek, as well as Interstate 90 rest areas at Oakland Woods (westbound) and Hayward (eastbound), which are east of Albert Lea.
To find a rest area in Minnesota, use MnDOT’s website search tool to learn about services and access at each site at mndot.gov/restareas.

Look for more information at the MnDOT project website. Follow MnDOT Southeast Minnesota on the MnDOT Southeast Minnesota Facebook group and on Twitter at: @mndotsoutheast.

Crews are following guidance of state and federal health officials to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Important reminders for motorists regarding work zone safety:

  • Slow down when approaching every work zone, then navigate through with care and caution
  • Stay alert; work zones constantly change
  • Watch for workers and slow moving equipment
  • Obey posted speed limits. Fine for a violation in a work zone is $300
  • Minimize distractions behind the wheel
  • Be patient; expect delays, especially during peak travel times

Stay updated on changing winter driving conditions in southeast Minnesota by signing up for MnDOT winter driving updates via text message or email. Go to the MnDOT website (mndot.gov/d6) and look for the Winter Driving Alerts link to sign up.

Monitor traffic and travel information in Minnesota through MnDOT’s traffic and road conditions map at 511mn.org, call 5-1-1 or get the free smartphone app at Google Play or the App Store.