Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Reduced conflict intersections

Increasing safety, decreasing T-bone crashes

Reduced conflict intersections

What they are

Understanding reduced conflict intersections

Reduced conflict intersections – also known as J-turns or RCUTs – are intersections that decrease fatalities and injuries caused by broadside crashes on four-lane divided highways.

Why they work

A typical four-lane divided highway intersection has 42 possible vehicle conflict points. RCIs reduce conflict points to as few as 18.

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. Traditional four-lane divided highway 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. 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.

How they work

In an RCI, drivers always make a right turn, followed by a U-turn. Motorists approaching divided highways from a side street are not allowed to make left turns or cross traffic; instead, they are required to turn right onto the highway and then make a U-turn at a designated median opening. This reduces potential conflict points and increases safety. Generally, the delay caused by a signal is greater than the delay caused by the RCI.

crossing a rural divided hwy using an RCI

left hand turn onto a divided hwy using an RCI

Where they are in Minnesota

We are planning and studying locations for additional RCIs across Minnesota in the years to come. Please contact us to find out more.