Construction project closes heavily traveled roadway - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Construction project closes heavily traveled roadway

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- Construction and road closures officially went into effect this afternoon for a highly traveled stretch of road.  The intersection of 75th street and Highway 63 are getting an upgrade for a number of reasons, one of them being safety.

Right now there are just a couple of stop signs on 75th and continuous flow on 63.

In the last 5 years 30 accidents have happened at this intersection. This construction project by MnDot and Olmsted County will make both of the routes continuous and safer.

For many years the intersection of highway 63 and county road 14 has been the site of serious traffic accidents.

"The People coming out on county road 14 would have to wait for the gaps. Sometimes if it was taking to long they'd go maybe if it's unsafe and so you have a lot of right angle crashes and those can be very severe," said Kristin Kammueller of MnDOT

A road construction project that got underway Monday looks to make this intersection a safer one.

"The roundabout will get people to slow down as they are coming out of town and it will allow people to enter coming in on all sides of the intersection," said Paul Schauer the projects engineer

Roundabouts are designed for continuous flow so there's no stoplights, there's no stop signs, but it's also created so the drivers have to slow down as they get into this roundabout and continue on their way.

There's been a lot of questions as to why a stop light couldn't solve some of the issues at this intersection. One of those reasons is that this particular intersection didn't meet all of the warrants needed to construct a stop and also a regular stop light wouldn't correct all of the accidents.

"You would still have red light runners and it would also give the people with the green light a false sense of security, so a roundabout was the best solution," said Kammueller

And if you travel through this area you will need to find an alternate route while construction progresses.

About 7-thousand cars travel 63 and nearly 6-thousand cars travel 75th street on a daily basis.

Mndot is suggesting a detour that would take you through county road 21 to county road 11 to county road 2 to county road 22.  If weather cooperates and all goes to plan this road should be open again in September.

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