Reduced Conflict Intersections
What are they?
Reduced Conflict Iintersections decrease fatalities and injuries caused by broadside crashes on four-lane divided highways. These intersections have an elevated risk of severe right-angle crashes (commonly called “T-bone” crashes), especially for drivers attempting to cross all four lanes of traffic or turn left.
Why do they work?
At a traditional intersection, motorists from the side street need to look in both directions to cross a four-lane divided highway. Left turns require the same level of attention. With an RCI, drivers from the side street only have to be concerned with one direction of traffic on the highway at a time. You don’t need to wait for a gap in both directions to cross a major road.
How do they work?
Motorists approaching divided highways from a side street are prohibited from making left turns or from crossing traffic; instead they are required to turn right onto the highway, then make a U-turn at a designated median opening. In an RCI, drivers always make a right turn, followed by a U-turn. This reduces potential conflict points and increases safety. Generally, the delay caused by a signal is greater than the delay caused by the RCI.
Where in Minnesota are they located?
- County Rd. 24, Willmar
- Hwy 169 and County Rd. 3, Belle Plaine
- Hwy 36 and Keats Avenue, Lake Elmo
- Hwy 10 and County Rd. 8, Becker
- Hwy 169 and 173rd St., Jordan
MnDOT also plans to build additional RCIs in the next five years in Cologne, Cannon Falls, Vermillion, Zumbrota, Cotton, Ham Lake, Ramsey and Oakdale.
In other parts of the country, RCIs are sometimes referred to as J-turns or RCUTs.