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News Release

May 25, 2005

Drivers urged to use care in work zones during Memorial Day weekend

     

ST. PAUL, Minn. - As the Memorial Day weekend approaches, the Minnesota Department of Transportation urges motorists to "Pay Attention or Pay the Price" while driving through highway work zones.

Mn/DOT begins its renewed work zone safety awareness campaign just before the start of the season's first major holiday weekend.

While virtually all of the department's 200 plus projects will be shut down during the long weekend, motorists may encounter detours and traffic restrictions as well as rough road surfaces and narrowed traffic lanes.

The four-month campaign will focus on building public awareness of the dangers of unsafe driving in work zones. The campaign will use radio ads, billboards, signs posted on gas pumps and in restaurants and movie theater ads asking drivers to share the responsibility for safe work zones with highway workers throughout the state.

The campaign's slogan, "Work Zones: Pay Attention or Pay the Price," stresses the need for motorists to watch out for highway workers and their own self-interest. Motorists traveling in work zones suffer by far the greatest from the costs of crashes, injuries and deaths.

The price can also include doubling of the fine for exceeding the posted
speed limit.

"Our highway workers are highly trained, visible and professional," said Lt. Gov. Carol Molnau, Minnesota's commissioner of transportation. "However, their safety and the effectiveness of the work they do depends heavily on drivers' paying full attention, observing speed limits and following directions from signs and flaggers."

Memorial Day weekend travelers will encounter the following road restrictions:

Northern Minnesota

  • Expansion of Hwy 371 to four lanes between Little Falls and Morrison County Road 48 north of Camp Ripley is under way. Although the work is off the existing roadway, motorists should watch for trucks hauling materials on Hwy 371 and be alert for slow traffic in the area.
  • A part of Hwy 64 is closed from Hubbard County Rd. 33 to Highway 34 in Akeley. Traffic heading north will be diverted west onto Hubbard County Rd. 33 to County Rd. 13, north to Hwy 34 at Nevis, then west to Akeley.
  • Motorists may experience traffic delays on Hwys 10 and 32 near Hawley due to construction of an interchange. Traffic on Hwy 10 will be restricted to a single lane in each direction. Hwy 32 traffic will be routed onto Clay County Roads 26, 33, 31 and 10.
  • Motorists traveling on Hwy 27 in Alexandria will be detoured onto McKay Avenue and Hwy 29 because of reconstruction of Third Avenue.
  • Traffic on westbound I-94 will be restricted to one lane and a 55 mph speed limit between the Grant County line to southeast of the junction with Hwy 79 near Evansville.

Twin Cities Metropolitan Area

  • Eastbound traffic on Interstate 94 from the Twin Cities metro area will encounter road construction and narrow lanes through two construction zones east of St. Paul.
  • Motorists traveling on I-35 near County Road 60 in Lakeville may experience single-lane traffic in each direction in the area. County Road 60 closed on May 11 for approximately one month. There is a posted detour.
  • Although there will be no work over the weekend, a one-half mile section of Hwy 8 in Chisago City is under construction with single-lane traffic in each direction.
  • Replacement of a box culvert beneath I-35W begins May 23 between Lexington Avenue and 95th Avenue in Blaine. Traffic will be restricted to a single lane on both sides of the interstate after morning rush hour on Monday as crews prepare to move traffic onto two lanes in each direction on the northbound side of the road. Once the culvert is installed beneath the southbound lanes of I-35W, traffic will switch to two lanes of traffic on the southbound side of the freeway in early June. Weather permitting, the project will be completed by the end of June.

Southern Minnesota

  • Hwy 14 road improvement projects are under way on in New Ulm. Traffic is detoured to county roads. The four-lane expansion of Hwy 14 near Janesville does not affect Hwy 14 traffic, but several local roads are detoured.
  • Hwy 12 east of Willmar between County Road 9 to the Kandiyohi County line east of Atwater is under construction; traffic is detoured to county roads. The detour route adds three miles. In Atwater, motorists will be directed through the work zone areas by flaggers and a pilot car.
  • Hwy 19 affected by construction in Redwood and Renville counties. The highway is detoured at the junction of Hwys 67 and 19 in Redwood Falls via county roads. Detour route adds nine miles.
  • Hwy 19 has minor delays between Morton and Fairfax.
  • Hwy 23 construction continues on Hwy 23 between its junction with Hwy 71 north of Willmar to County Road 31 north of New London in the cities of Spicer and New London.
  • Hwy 22 in Glencoe. Travelers will encounter a detour in the city of Glencoe because Hwy 22 through the city is under construction. Detour via Hwy 212 and city streets.
  • Starting May 23, traffic will be limited to one lane on eastbound I-90 beginning about seven miles west of the bridge over the Mississippi River near La Crescent for bridge repairs at Nodine Hill until July 7. Speed will be limited to 55 mph.
  • Southbound traffic on Hwy 3 and Hwy 19 in Northfield will detoured; northbound Hwy 3 will be limited to a single lane.
  • Major reconstruction of Hwy 52 in Rochester continues this year.
  • I-35 lane closures mean drivers can expect single-lane traffic in each direction from I-90 at Albert Lea to the Iowa border.

Molnau said motorists avoiding distractions such as using cell phones, observing speed limits and allowing a safe distance between their vehicles and others will help ensure their safety and others in highway work zones.

To check current road and weather conditions, go to www.511mn.org on the Web or call 511. For information on work zones, including driving tips go to www.dot.state.mn.us/workzone/.

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Contact:

Craig Wilkins
651-296-0838

Kevin Walker
Metro Public Affairs
weekend on call
Office 651-582-1362
Page 651-610-6528

 

Office of
Communications

395 John Ireland Blvd.
Mail Stop 150
St. Paul, MN
55155-1899