Plans in motion to make dangerous intersection safer - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Plans in motion to make dangerous intersection safer

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EYOTA, Minn. (KTTC) -- There are two stop signs on both sides of Olmsted County Road 9 and Highway 42, but there have still been several accidents at the intersection in the last few years.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation has made initiatives to make the intersection safer, however.

"People miss these stop signs completely and just blow right through them," said Jeremy Greenwaldt, an Olmsted County snowplow driver. 

"Obviously there are stop signs on both sides of the road here," said Bob Langanki of MnDOT. "But we're requesting for the public to just pay a bit more attention."

Last Thursday, a 22-year-old Plainview woman was killed when she ran a stop sign at the intersection and was hit broadside by a truck. 

Two days later, two men were seriously injured after they were hit by a truck trying to cross the same highway. 

Jeremy Greenwaldt has been in charge of plowing this area of County Road 9 for six years. He was one of the first on the scene of Thursday's crash. 

"At this intersection that's the worst I've seen," he said. 

On Monday, crews used heavy equipment to push back the towering drifts on the side of the road.

"Every intersection you come to has piles like this. So we've been slowly picking away at them," Greenwaldt continued. 

But obviously snow isn't an issue during crashes in warmer months, and there have been enough to spark some change. 

"This intersection here is actually set up to make a contract for an early warning system," said Langanki. 

Highway 42 and County Road 9 is on the list of 49 intersections in the state that will receive a Rural Intersection Conflict Warning System. 

"There's a sign down here with a special light that comes on it when you run over a pressure plate I believe. And it activates a light to warn traffic that people are coming," said Greenwaldt.

The installation began last summer. In fact, the first components were taken out by one of the recent crashes.

The project is one of 16 like it being put on hold for the winter months.

But even after it's installed, the message is still to keep your eyes on the road. 

"The common sense really has to go back to the operator, or the public I should say when they're driving on the roads. Slow down," Langanki said. 

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