New Intersection Near Byron Set to Open This Weekend
MnDOT says crews began work on the intersection back in April. In May the left lanes of Hwy. 14 were closed at Olmsted County Rd. 3 to allow for work on building the J-turn.
A MnDOT spokesman says the intersection of Hwy. 14 and County Rd. along the eastern outskirts of Byron is set to open on Saturday. County Rd. 3, which was closed to the north and south of the four-lane highway will also reopen.
Motorists heading through the area are reminded to be alert for potential workers putting the finishing touches on the intersection. Traffic officials say J-turn intersections reduce broadside crashes while still allowing vehicles to cross the roadways in which traffic is allowed to travel at a high rate of speed.
The intersection of Hwy. 14 and County Rd. 3 saw 20 crashes from 2018-2022. 10 of those crashes were right-angle collisions and one of the crashes was fatal, MnDOT says. MnDOT is offering the following tips on how to navigate a J-Turn intersection:
- In a J-turn, drivers always make a right turn, followed by a U-turn.
- If you are on County Road 3, you are not allowed to make direct left turns or directly cross Highway 14.
- Motorists on County Road 3 are required to turn right and proceed into a turn lane in the median before they make a U-turn at a designated median opening.
- If you are driving on Highway 14, you can use a designated left-turn lane to proceed to County Road 3 when it is safe to turn
The new intersection is part of an overall effort to make safety improvements along Hwy. 14 between Rochester and Byron, a stretch of highway that sees 30,000 motorists daily, according to Olmsted County traffic figures.
Some of the other safety-oriented projects include installing a cable median barrier between Rochester and Byron to reduce the incidence of median crossover head-on crashes and closing the median at Olmsted County Road 44 and Seventh Street Northwest.
Next year, MnDOT plans to build a J-turn at Dodge County Road 9, install high-tension cable median barrier as well as repave the highway between Byron and Kasson.