Hwy 14 safety improvements to begin soon west of Rochester

(ABC 6 News) – The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) says that Hwy 14 motorists west of Rochester will soon encounter lane closures as construction crews work on safety improvements.

Construction will begin on Monday, Apr. 17, weather permitting, at Hwy 14 and Olmsted Co. Road 3, east of Byron, where crews will construct a J-turn, or reduced conflict intersection.

During construction, Co. Rd. 3 will be closed at Hwy 14 and detoured. Motorists who want to cross Hwy 14 at Co. Rd. 3 or enter Hwy 14 from Co. Rd. 3 will follow detour routes:

  • Motorists north of Hwy 14 will take 7th St. Northeast west to 10th Ave. Northeast south to Hwy 14.
  • Motorists south of Hwy 14 will take Country Club Road/ Olmsted Co. Rd. 34 west to 10th Ave. Southeast to Hwy 14.

The detours will be in effect though mid-June when the project is completed.

MnDOT says once completed, the J-turn will allow Hwy 14 motorists to make left turns onto Co. Rd. 3, but Co. Rd. 3 motorists will not be able to cross Hwy 14 or turn left. Instead, they will use designated U-turn sections to reach their destinations.

This change prevents vehicles from going directly across Hwy 14 and it significantly reduces T-bone crashes while still allowing vehicles to cross the roadway.

Also, starting on Apr. 17, there will be work to install high-tension cable median barrier along Hwy 14 between Byron and Rochester. Crews will close one lane of traffic along the highway but will not close eastbound lanes until after 9:00 a.m. and will remove lane closures on westbound traffic by 4:00 p.m. each day.

This work is also scheduled to be completed in June. The cable median barrier can significantly reduce head-on cross-over crashes, which often result in serious injuries or death.