Elk Run interchange project construction complete
ROCHESTER, Minn. – Motorists will now encounter a fully operational traffic signal at the new Elk Run diverging diamond interchange, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
Previously the signal was operating in the flashing red mode, requiring motorists to come to a full stop at the signal prior to proceeding.
The remaining sections of the frontage road system are now open to traffic including 5th Street Northeast, the southwest frontage road (Wazuweeta Road) and the east frontage road.
Motorist will still encounter minor construction activities occurring on the new roadways in the final weeks before winter.
The Elk Run interchange’s innovative design brings one of the first diverging diamond interchanges (DDI) to Minnesota. With the DDI design, opposing lanes of traffic criss-cross at the ends of the interchange. Traffic signals, signs, pavement markings and concrete barriers guide motorists through the interchange.
The DDI design provides several benefits, including:
- Cost Effective: The DDI design is more cost effective to construct than the typical loop and ramp interchange design.
- High Capacity: The DDI design has the ability to accommodate high traffic volumes with improved safety.
- Pedestrians/Bicycle Access: The DDI design provides safe access for pedestrians and bicycles.
More information about the design, including an illustration and animations, can be found on the project website, www.dot.state.mn.us/elkrun/.
In addition to the interchange’s innovative design, three multi-lane roundabouts were constructed on the new county road system.
Multilane roundabouts are designated by signs and pavement markings to direct drivers into the appropriate lanes.
For more information on multilane roundabouts and their usage, visit www.mndot.gov/roundabouts/video/multilane.html
The Elk Run Interchange project reflects another phase of MnDOT’s overall effort to upgrade Highway 52 to a fully access-controlled freeway facility from Rochester to the Twin Cities.
The project included construction of the new interchange on Highway 52 in Pine Island, as well as access closures and a supporting frontage road system.
Construction began in 2011 on the $34.3 million project; Shafer Contracting Co, Inc. was the prime contractor.
For more information on the Elk Run Interchange project, call the project hotline at 1-866-729-3995 or visit www.dot.state.mn.us/elkrun/.
MnDOT urges motorists to always drive with caution, slow down in work zones and never enter a road blocked with barriers or cones. For statewide travel information visit www.511mn.org, call
5-1-1 or log on to www.mndot.gov.