Dept. of Transportation to close two dangerous medians on Highway 14 in August

(ABC 6 News) – The Minnesota Department of Transportation will close two medians on Highway 14 between Rochester and Byron by mid-August.

Motorists will lose the ability to cross Highway 14 at Olmsted County Road 44 and 7th Street NW, the department announced, in an effort to improve the road’s safety.

Road crews will begin removing the medians in late July.

Transportation staff mentioned those closures as an initial step toward lowering the fatal crash rate on Highway 14 at a safety improvement planning last week.

RELATED: Safety improvement planning meeting held for dangerous Hwy 14 intersection |

The intersection at Highway14 and County Road 44 has a particularly dangerous history, averaging 10-13 accidents per year according to the MnDOT website.

The permanent closures of the medians will not allow vehicles to cross the roadway, preventing T-bone crashes. Vehicles on 7th Street and County Road 44 will still be able to turn right onto Highway 14, and eastbound vehicles on Highway 14 will be able to make right-turn exits onto 7th Street NW or 44.

Drivers will no longer be able to turn left onto 7th Street NW or County Road 44.

The department hopes to construct a Reduced Conflict Intersection at Highway 14 and County Road 3 in 2023.

Drivers may see parts of that intersection installed this summer, such as flashing lights to draw attention to the intersection.