Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Aug. 31, 2023

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New signs, equipment installations aimed at I-35 Faribault work zone awareness

Faribault, Minn. – New, larger message signs are on Interstate 35, north and south of Faribault, in advance of the construction zone to raise motorist awareness of slowing or stopped traffic and the approaching work zone, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

The 10 portable changeable message signs were installed Thursday to replace signs with flashers that were put up before the construction project began. As with the original signs, these new, larger message boards continue to be placed every mile 6 miles in advance of the work zone and activated when traffic is slow or stopped. Sensors remain in place to measure vehicle speeds and trigger the flashing sign alerts.

Additionally, MnDOT’s contractor will be installing temporary rumble strips on the road in advance of the work zone to alert motorists to see the warning signs. Signs will alert motorists of the presence of the rumble strips once they are installed next week. MnDOT is awaiting shipment of the adhesive rumble strips.

The installations are being done to gain motorist attention of the approaching work zone, especially when traffic is slowing or stopped. The work zone has seen four fatal crashes that have killed five people since July 12.

Avoid backups
Motorists should check 511mn.org , or the free mobile app, in advance to review traffic conditions, looking at traffic speeds, traffic cameras and any crash reports.

Motorists can experience slowdowns and backups from midday through late afternoon because of high traffic volumes on Interstate 35. If you can adjust travel times or seek an alternate route, motorists can often avoid those delays.

Project background
The first year of the project is scheduled to be complete in October and is part of the Interstate 35 resurfacing project in Rice County near Faribault. Construction will take place over two years and it has been broken into four phases .

  • In 2023, work, which began July 10, includes construction of median crossover lanes, resurfacing southbound Interstate 35 between Bagley Avenue/Western Avenue and Rice County Road 48 and rehabilitating the flyover ramp (southbound Lyndale Avenue) from Highland Place to southbound I-35 and the northbound ramp at Highway 21.
  • In 2024, crews will resurface northbound and southbound Interstate 35 and reconstruct ramps at Rice County Road 48, Highway 60 and Highway 21.

2023 traffic impacts

  • Traffic reduced to a single lane in each direction
  • Southbound traffic shifted onto northbound side of Interstate 35 while Rice County Road 48 southbound ramp and southbound mainline work is completed from Bagley Avenue to the south end of the project
  • Ramps occasionally closed, two of the three ramps into Faribault may be under construction at the same time