Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News Release

Dec. 4, 2017

Northbound I-35 Straight River Rest Area recognized with architectural award

OWATONNA, Minn. The Minnesota Department of Transportation’s northbound Interstate 35 Straight River Rest Area is among 13 honorees for American Institute of Architects - Minnesota 2017 Honor Awards.
The new facility about 7 miles south of Owatonna features LED lighting, prairie restoration plantings, increased truck parking, a leash-free fenced in pet walking area, an observation deck, family restroom facilities, a new playground and picnic facilities.  Follow this link to photos and descriptions of the site: http://snowkreilich.com/ourwork/straight-river-rest-area-2/

“We’re gratified that a site to serve motorists as a place to rest and refresh is honored for its aesthetics as well as how the design aids the public, who use this facility,” said Rob Williams, MnDOT’s safety rest area program manager. “Minnesotans should be proud of this new rest area that not only serves them but also visitors from out of state.”
The rest area was among 87 projects that were submitted in 2017 to AIA Minnesota, and were evaluated in five categories: architecture; interiors; renovation and restoration; and urban design and master planning. Entries were evaluated by three internationally-renowned architects for their degree of design invention, attention to detail, advancement of sustainable design and other factors. Other winners include the Minnesota State Capitol restoration and the Walker Art Center expansion.
Honor Award recipients will receive their awards at the annual AIA Minnesota Awards Dinner on Dec. 8, 2017 in Minneapolis.
The $4.98 million project was completed by prime contractor The Joseph Company, Inc. from Austin Minn.

To find a rest area in Minnesota, use MnDOT’s web site search tool to learn about services and access at each site: www.dot.state.mn.us/restareas/find.html
MnDOT urges motorists to stop, rest and refresh with the first sign of drowsiness when driving.  Rest areas serve as an effective and convenient countermeasure to drowsy driving.