How the new changes to Highway 14 will affect traffic and business

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(ABC 6 News) – The area between Seventh Street Northwest and County Road 44 on Highway 14 has been a hot topic, and will now be closed, as the state moves forward with its safety plan. These intersections have had a long history of being unsafe. In fact, 10 to 13 crashes happen per year at CR-44 and HWY-14, some fatal.

"At the end of July we are going to be removing the median here at County Road 44 and Highway 14 and to the east here at Seventh Street Northwest we’ll remove that median. So, people will not be able to cross Highway 14 here the will still be able to come up and make a right turn onto Highway 14 or if they are coming from the direction make a right turn onto the County Road 44, but to get across to the other side they will need to go up to another exit and come around that way," said MnDOT District 6 spokesperson Mike Dougherty.

One of the interchanges that drivers will have to turn around at will be West Circle Drive and Highway 14. An interchange that already backs up due to traffic. But businesses like Kwik Trip might see an increase in sales.

"So right now we are pretty steady with our business, but if it’s going to affect the traffic it will get a lot busier during the mornings and the afternoons," said Kwik Trip assistant store manager Edith Mendonza-Hernandez.

But people are concerned about the change in the flow of traffic.

"They are trying to do these things for safety, but when you change the traffic patterns or don’t have a better understanding of the ag and truck traffic and where you gonna force all that large oversized traffic to I think they need to look back and do a further study," said Republican District 25 Representative Duane Quam.

But MnDOT says they have a plan to reduce traffic issues as they work on the road.

And that is inconvenient but we think safety outweighs the inconvenience there," Dougherty added.

Drivers will still be able to make right hand turns on and off Highway 14, but with the median closures at Seventh Street Northwest and County Road 44 drivers will no longer be able to make left hand turns either on or off the highway. Instead they will have to drive up to West Circle Drive or Highway 3, then turn back around.