Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News Release

July 26, 2013

Orange barrels on a highway

New traffic signal in Albert Lea uses flashing yellow arrow 

Signal minimizes delay, improves safety

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Motorists at the Highway 69, Highway 13 and Freeborn County Road 46 intersection in Albert Lea will encounter a new traffic signal beginning Friday, July 26, that features a flashing yellow arrow for left turns.
The signal was installed as part of the resurfacing project on Highway 69. It minimizes unnecessary waiting for motorists and improves safety.

When illuminated, the flashing yellow arrow allows waiting motorists to turn left after yielding to oncoming traffic and pedestrians. The new traffic signal will still use the traditional red, yellow and green arrows.

After extensive testing, the Federal Highway Administration authorized use of flashing yellow arrows nationwide in 2009. The flashing yellow arrow is now part of the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s standard design of traffic signals. MnDOT has installed more than 60 systems throughout Minnesota thus far. Some Minnesota cities and counties are also installing the new signals.

A study conducted by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program determined that drivers had fewer crashes with flashing yellow left-turn arrows than with traditional yield-on-green signals.

MnDOT plans to install the new flashing yellow arrow systems on most future traffic signal construction projects. Retrofitting existing signals to include flashing yellow arrows can be costly and will be done on a limited basis. 

To read more about the new flashing yellow arrow signals, please visit




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