Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News)- Changes are coming to a pair of intersections along Hwy. 14 between Rochester and Byron.

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MnDOT announced Thursday that by mid-August motorists will no longer be able to cross Hwy. 14 at the intersections of Olmsted County Rd. 44 and 7th St. NW. A MnDOT press release says the changes are part of an effort to improve the safety of the Hwy. 14 corridor west of Rochester.

Hwy. 14 and 7th St. NW. Photo: Google
Hwy. 14 and 7th St. NW. Photo: Google
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Hwy. 14 and County Rd. 44. Photo: Google Earth
Hwy. 14 and County Rd. 44. Photo: Google
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Crews will begin filling in the medians at the end of the month. The medians are expected to be filled in by August. MnDOT says there are other projects planned that they say will make 14 safer west of the med city. MnDOT shared a full list of planned safety improvements they say is based on input from the community:

  • Permanently close the median at 7th St. NW
    • Not allowing vehicles to cross the roadway helps prevent T-bone crashes. These types of crashes often result in serious injuries or death.
    • Vehicles on 7th St. NW will not be able to cross Hwy 14, but will be able to make a right turns onto Hwy 14.
    • Vehicles traveling eastbound Hwy 14 will be able to make right-turn exits off the highway onto 7th St. NW.
    • Vehicles traveling westbound Hwy 14 will not be able to make left-turn exits onto 7th St. NW.
  • Permanently close the median at Hwy 14 and Olmsted Co. Rd. 44
    • Not allowing vehicles to cross the roadway helps prevent T-bone crashes. These types of crashes often result in serious injuries or death.
    • Vehicles on Co. Rd. 44 will not be able to cross Hwy 14, but vehicles will be able to make right turns onto Hwy 14.
    • Vehicles traveling on Hwy 14 will be able to take right-turn exits onto Co. Rd. 44. but left-turns will not be allowed.
  • Construct a reduced conflict intersection (RCI) at Hwy 14 and Olmsted Co. Rd. 3 in 2023
    • Interim safety changes will be installed this summer, such as the installation of flashing warning signs to alert drivers at the intersection, to help draw a driver’s attention to the cross traffic at the intersection.
    • Once the RCI is constructed, vehicles will exit and enter Hwy 14 and will only be able to cross the roadway at designated U-turn sections.
    • This change stops vehicles from going directly across Hwy 14 and significantly reduces T-bone crashes. It also allows for vehicles to cross the roadway.
  • Delay the closure of Country Club Rd. until the RCI at Olmsted Co. Rd. 3 is constructed in 2023.
  • Continue with the installation of the high-tension cable median barriers along the Hwy 14 ditch in 2023
    • This change will not affect safety at intersections, but can significantly reduce head-on cross-over crashes, which often result in serious injuries or death.

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