Dangerous Intersection Getting Fix

Posted at: 03/29/2013 6:34 PM
By: Katie

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- After dozens of accidents and numerous deadly crashes one of the most dangerous intersections in Minnesota is set to get a makeover.

MnDOT has announced that the intersection of Highway 52 and County Road 9, between Zumbrota and Cannon Falls will get a face lift come September.

Sharon Nelson has lived off of County Road 9 and Highway 52 for more than 40 years. She's definitely seen her fair share of accidents at this intersection.

"At one point probably twice a week that you'd have the sheriff out or the patrol go out there," said Nelson.

She says each time she starts to worry.

"You hate to hear the sirens, you hope it's not someone you know, but you also know it's someone's son or daughter," said Nelson.

MnDOT has been working with the U of M to test out signs that advise drivers when to go. While signs have helped that test period is over and it's clear to MnDOT that more is needed.

"We know with the number of fatal crashes combined with the number of serious injury crashes that we've had, that this intersection has some safety issues," said spokesperson Kristin Kammueller.

MnDOT is planning to install there a Reduced Conflict Intersection also known as a J-Turn Intersection.

"The driver would have to turn onto 52, merge over, and make a U-turn to continue on County Road 9," said Kammueller

MnDOT says J-Turn Intersections have proven to cut down on fatal accidents by more than 86% and they are much cheaper and easier to install than an interchange.

"It's MnDOT's responsibility to do something now and we know that this works and we can construct it now, for an interchange it would take years," said Kammueller.

But there are some area residents that are concerned about the plan.

"I think something needs to be done, yes," said Sharon Nelson.

Sharon says many of the farmers in the area including her husband worry about being able to get their large farm equipment and semis through the intersection.

"I don't think there's a farmer around or a semi driver that would agree with it," said Nelson.

There are four other J-Turn Intersection in Minnesota.