Thursday, May 22, 2014

Travelers are urged to use caution in work zones over Memorial Day weekend

ST. PAUL, Minn.—The Minnesota Department of Transportation urges motorists to use extra caution while driving through highway work zones over Memorial Day weekend. 

Motorists should be prepared for slower moving traffic and use extra caution in highway work zones. Plan ahead, think about alternate routes and go to before you leave home to get information about road construction and detours.

“We are working on hundreds of construction projects around the state,” said Sue Mulvihill, deputy commissioner and chief engineer. “It is critical that drivers pay attention and slow down in work zones and make it a safe weekend for everyone.”

Highway projects that may affect weekend travel May 23-26 include:
Twin Cities area
·        Southbound Highway 169 between Highway 62 and Valley View Road – closed; traffic will be detoured to westbound Highway 212 and eastbound Interstate 494
·        35E in St. Paul – lane and ramp closures
Central Minnesota
·        I-94 in Monticello – narrow lanes, reduced speed limits
·        Highway 10 interchange construction in Rice – narrow lanes and reduced speeds
·        Highway 95 in Cambridge – closed with detour
Northern Minnesota
·        I-35 near Cloquet - lane closures
·        Highway 2 in Duluth - Bong Bridge construction
·        Highway 18 - Highway 47 junction to the County Road 61 – lane closures
·        Highway 29 in Alexandria closed between 3rd Avenue and 6th Avenue
Southern Minnesota
·        I-35 in Owatonna - single lane traffic in both directions
·        Highway 7 and Highway 22 closed from Cosmos to Hutchinson
·        Highway 14 closed from Florence to Tracy
·        Highway 24 closed from Litchfield to Highway 15
·        Highway 52 south of Cannon Falls – lane closures
·        Highway 63 closed south of Stewartville
·        Highway 212 closed from Dawson to Highway 59

Check for additional road information.

Memorial Day weekend is traditionally one of the deadliest on Minnesota roads..
The four-year average (2010-13) for work zone crashes is 1,817 crashes and seven fatalities per year.

MnDOT reminds motorists to follow these guidelines when driving through work zones:

  • Stay alert, especially at night.
  • Obey posted speed limits. Fines may double for violations in work zones.
  • Expect work zones to constantly change. Day to day, you could experience lane shifts, closures or moving workers and vehicles.
  • Never enter a road blocked with barriers or cones.
  • Don’t make unnecessary lane changes.
  • Stay off cell phones and mobile devices.
  • Be patient. Expect delays, especially during peak travel times.
  • Move over one lane, if possible, or reduce speed for stopped emergency or maintenance vehicles, including ambulance, fire, law enforcement or maintenance and construction vehicles.

Sign up for MnDOT email updates to get construction project and major closure alerts. Other updates include bicycle projects, finance, planning, and permits.