Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Elk Run Interchange

in PIne Island

Elk Run Logo


The Elk Run Interchange project reflects another phase of MnDOT's overall effort to upgrade Hwy 52 to a fully access-controlled freeway facility from Rochester to the Twin Cities. This goal is outlined in the 2002 Hwy 52 Interregional Corridor Management Plan, which includes many agency partners. With the completion of this project, Hwy 52 will be fully access-controlled from Rochester to the south side of Pine Island.

The project includes construction of a new interchange on Hwy 52 in Pine Island, as well as access closures and a supporting frontage road system. A new frontage road in Oronoco will also be constructed on the west side of Hwy 52 to complete the Oronoco area upgrade. Major construction will begin in spring 2011 and work will continue through November 2012.

Shafer Contracting Co., Inc. is the primary contractor for this $34.3 million project.


Improved safety The project will greatly increase motorist safety on Highway 52 through the removal of 18 highway access points, including 520th Street in Pine Island and Olmsted County Road 31. The project also helps MnDOT progress toward the goal of upgrading Highway 52 to a freeway facility from Rochester to the Twin Cities, thereby increasing safety and mobility for motorists throughout southeastern Minnesota.

Increased traffic capacity The project provides increased capacity to accommodate the growing traffic volumes on Highway 52 and County Road 12.

Economic Development This project creates potential for new development in downtown Pine Island, as well as in Oronoco, and in the Elk Run area. The project also includes the realignment of Olmsted County Road 12 to the new interchange and the future Olmsted County Road 5 corridor on the south side of Pine Island, further improving access and facilitating future growth of Pine Island.

Job creation As part of this project, the city of Pine Island is committed to create a minimum of 182 jobs over the next nine years in the bioscience sector. In addition, approximately 200-300 construction jobs will be associated to this project.

Innovative design The Elk Run Interchange project’s innovative design will bring the first Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI) to Minnesota. Growing in popularity, the DDI design provides several benefits:

  • Higher capacity The DDI design has the ability to accommodate high traffic volumes with improved safety.
  • Pedestrian/bike access The DDI design includes safety and access for pedestrians and bicycles.
  • Low cost The DDI design is less expensive to construct than the typical loop and ramp interchange design.


The number one priority for the Elk Run Interchange project is safety. Shafer and MnDOT are committed to keeping area residents, the traveling public, and all construction workers safe throughout construction. Shafer and MnDOT will also be in regular contact with all area emergency service providers throughout the project to ensure that access is maintained for emergencies. For your safety, please stay out of all construction areas.

Project resources

State of Minnesota

Greater Minnesota Interchange funds: $14.6 million

Statewide Corridor funds: $10 million

MnDOT General funds: $2.6 million

Olmsted County

$8.5 million ($2 million federal funds)

City of Pine Island/Tower Development

250 acres of right-of-way (valued at over $3.65 million)


Additional project resources include:

  • Right-of-Way
  • Utilities
  • Engineering