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News Release

August 3, 2004

Highway 169/19 Interchange Opens Friday

Mankato, Minn. -Motorists will be able to use a fully functional interchange at U.S. Highway 169 and State Highway 19 beginning Friday, August 6.

While Highway 169 traffic has been maintained through the construction, Highway 19 motorists going to New Prague and Henderson have endured a detour since May, 2002. The project experienced a significant delay when poor soils caused an embankment to slide.

The new interchange will help provide uninterrupted travel for people and businesses moving between regional trade centers on Highway 169, which is a high priority interregional corridor. The interchange eliminates conflicts for Highway 169 motorists and provides ease of access for Highway 19 travelers.

"I believe this is a tremendous safety feature for southwestern Minnesota travelers, "said Jim Swanson, Transportation District Engineer. "The interchange will aid in quick and safe travel for everyone heading to and from the Twin Cities on Highway 169."

A new interchange at Highway 169 and 19 has been the subject of public interest for many years because of the concerns about accidents and danger at the at-grade intersection. In a six and a half-year period, January 1995 through June 2001, the intersection had been the site of 35 crashes. Of these crashes, 28 involved multiple vehicles and 19 resulted in personal injury.

Swanson has had recent discussions with the trucking industry and they are elated that the intersection is now an interchange. They told him that semi's on Highway 19 did not feel safe crossing Highway 169 with the at-grade intersection.

The 2000 Legislature provided $4.2 million for the $11.2 million interchange. They also provided $500,000 for a Highway 169 Corridor Plan in which other Highway 169 interchanges were identified and three in the southwest metro area have subsequently been funded with the Pawlenty-Molnau Transportation Finance Package.

Work Zones. Pay Attention or Pay the Price.

For statewide up-to-date traveler information, Minnesotans are now able to access weather-related road conditions, construction and congestion by dialing 511 or by logging on to www.511mn.org

District 7, Mankato/Windom
501 S. Victory Dr.
Mankato, MN 56001-5302
Tel: 800/657-3747
Fax: 507/389-6281

Contact:
Rebecca Arndt
Public Affairs Coordinator
507/389-6883