Frequently Asked Questions
Click here to download a printable version of the FAQs.
Question: What is the overall goal of this project?
Answer: MnDOT, Olmsted County, City of Byron, City of Rochester and other local partners are approving solutions that prevent traffic fatalities and serious injuries on Hwy 14 at the intersections of Olmsted Co. Rd. 3 and Olmsted Co. Rd. 44. High-speed rural intersections, such as these, have a much higher risk for fatal and serious injury crashes, especially since most crashes are right-angle, or T-bone crashes.
Question: What is the safety data on RCI construction?
Answer: In Minnesota, RCIs have been constructed in more than 40 locations, with additional locations under construction or planned for the future. Compared to similar intersections, those that had an RCI installed generally experienced 90% fewer fatal crashes and 52% fewer crashes that resulted in incapacitating injuries. Right-angle crashes at Hwy 14/Olmsted Co. Rd. 3 and 44 have resulted in three fatal crashes from 2014-2019. On average, RCI locations experienced a 70% reduction in these types of crashes.
Question: Why was an RCI chosen for the Olmsted Co. Rd. 3 intersection?
Answer: The intersection of Hwy 14 and Olmsted Co. Rd. 3 has a fatal and injury crash rate that is more than six times higher than the statewide average. From 2014-2019, there were 21 total crashes documented at this intersection including two fatal crashes and one incapacitating injury crash. Of those 21 crashes, 58% were right-angle crashes. In 2019, MnDOT, Olmsted County, Dodge County, City of Byron, City of Kasson and other local partners completed the US Hwy 14 Corridor Analysis. The partners analyzed the data and recommended an RCI as a short-term improvement for the intersection.
Question: Was an overpass considered at the Olmsted Co. Rd. 3 intersection?
Answer: The 2019 US Hwy 14 Corridor Analysis identified several long-term goals including the Olmsted Co. Rd. 3 intersection as a preferred location for a future overpass. These alterations and changes will be constructed in sections and could take 20 or more years to secure funding and fully implement. The construction of an RCI will address safety concerns while the future of Hwy 14 is developed.
Question: Why was a modified RCI chosen for the Olmsted Co. Rd. 44 intersection?
Answer: The intersection of Hwy 14 and Olmsted Co. Rd. 44 has a crash rate nearly four times higher than the statewide average. From 2014-2019 (the more recent final crash statistics available), there were 44 total crashes documented at this intersection including one fatal crash and 20 injury crashes. Of those 44 crashes, 52% were right-angle crashes. The project partners analyzed the traffic, crashes, geographic and data as well as other information before recommending an RCI as a short-term improvement for the intersection.
Question: What about the interchange planned for Olmsted Co. Rd. 44?
Answer: Funding was received in December 2020 to design an interchange at Olmsted Co. Rd. 44. Project partners are seeking funding for construction, but no date is known for when the construction of the interchange will begin. Even with the start of the design phase, there is an immediate need to address existing safety concerns. The partners recommend installing an RCI as a short-term improvement for the intersection.
Question: Why not just install a traffic signal?
Answer: In most cases, traffic signals have been shown to increase the number of crashes at high-speed rural intersections due to inattentive driving, speeding to make a light or not stopping for the traffic signal. The Hwy 14 Corridor Analysis recommended a long-term goal to remove the existing traffic signals at Olmsted Co. Rd. 5 and 10th Ave in Byron.
Question: Will large trucks and agricultural equipment be able to navigate the RCI?
Answer: RCIs are designed to allow large trucks and agricultural tractors with equipment to safely navigate the intersection. Vehicles, trucks and tractors on approaching Hwy 14 can make a right turn directly into the median left turn lane without merging into traffic. The U-turn has a long lane in the center median that allows all vehicles to make the turn without ever needing to merge into the main traffic lanes of Hwy 14 before continuing on Olmsted Co. Rd. 3 or Olmsted Co. Rd. 44.