Funding Secured for Roundabout at Deadly Intersection

Updated: 12/26/2013 10:59 PM
Created: 12/26/2013 10:53 PM KAALtv.com
By: Steph Crock

(ABC 6 News) -- Funds have been secured to improve a deadly Olmsted County Intersection. It's one of the deadliest intersections in our area, where Highway 14 and County Road 42 meet just outside of Eyota.

One crash, after another, those who travel often on this stretch of Highway 14 say, crashes aren't an uncommon sight anymore. "I know I’ve seen at least three or four where I’ve actually like been there, not just seeing the aftermath, and the aftermath, I’ve seen like five or six," said driver Casey Guehardt.

Though, it is the fatal crashes that are most heart wrenching. Like this past fall, when Dustin Schultz was killed bringing his new born baby and wife home, or the one last spring, where Marvin Jech was killed on his 45th wedding anniversary. "After actually the Jech accident, the community was very fearful of this intersection and there had been a lot of history that I was not even aware of," said Senator Carla Nelson. She's been involved in the process to improve the intersection.

MnDOT had made immediate changes to the intersection like adding flashing lights to the stop sign and putting in rumble strips, though Sen. Nelson says, "Even in spite of those measures there were still more fatalities to come.”

With outpouring community outreach coupled with MnDOT’s efforts, big changes are now in the future. "I really applaud both the citizens who have been very involved, the press, and MnDOT for listening and making this a top priority," said Sen. Nelson. MnDOT officials confirm money has been secured to put a roundabout at this deadly intersection. "With a roundabout, it would slow down all traffic but not cause the delays that a  stop light would cause, and it’s felt that it will be a much safer intersection," said Sen. Nelson.

Safety is the number one concern to those who travel this highway often. "Seeing kids in accidents and living through that, it’s heartbreaking and I really hope it helps," said Casey.

There's no date set for construction to start yet, that'll have to wait until MnDOT is done with the design stage.