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
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
"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:
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
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
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/.