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News Release
May 4, 2012




Minnesota Department of Transportation
District 8
2505 Transportation Road
Willmar, MN 56201


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Electronic signs at Hwy 23/Lyon County Road 7 to turn on May 7


WILLMAR, Minn. – Motorists will notice the electronic signs at the Hwy 23 and Lyon County Road 7 intersection near Marshall will turn on Monday, May 7.


The signs are part of a long-term research project to help prevent collisions at rural highway intersections without disrupting traffic flow. The study will determine the signs’ effectiveness in helping drivers recognize and properly respond to unsafe gaps in traffic.


The electronic signs provide real-time warnings of unsafe gaps in traffic to drivers stopped on Lyon County Road 7. Hwy 23 is a four-lane divided highway, and Hwy 23 traffic does not stop at this intersection.


The sign system uses sensors on the mainline Hwy to determine the position, speed and lane of travel for vehicles approaching the intersection. It does not tell a driver when to cross traffic; rather it is designed to help a driver recognize unsafe gaps and better judge when to cross traffic. 


Motorists on Lyon County Road 7 can use the signs to cross one direction of traffic, then wait in the median before crossing the other direction of traffic. Judging one direction of traffic at a time is easier and safer for drivers. 


The Hwy 23 and Lyon County Road 7 intersection was selected because it is on a four-lane roadway with higher than average crash rates. This system is one of three currently being evaluated in Minnesota.


The University of Minnesota’s Center for Transportation Studies conducted the research, which was funded by the Federal Highway Administration and the Minnesota Department of Transportation.


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