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With another tragic death following a crash at Highway 14 and 60th Avenue in Rochester, a lot of people are asking the same question.

When is something going to be done about this dangerous intersection? This is far from the first accident there, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. 😞

Most recently, we reported James Daley, a Byron man that was seriously injured last month had died.

James Daley Highway 14 Accident (Townsquare Media)

A Byron man who was seriously injured in a traffic wreck in rural Rochester last month has died, just a few days before his birthday. The obituary for 84-year-old James Daley says he died last Thursday.

He was driving a car that collided with a semi-truck at the intersection of 60th Ave and Highway 14. Daley was a farmer and served on the Olmsted County Board from 1978-1986. He also worked at IBM for 14 years. Visitation for Daley is scheduled for Thursday at Byron Funeral Home. His funeral will be held Friday.

Many times Highway 14 has been reported as one of Minnesota's Most Dangerous Roads.

If one were to compile a list of hazards that make a road dangerous then US Highway 14 would check virtually every box. From sharp turns, non-existent shoulders, a total lack of lane dividers, and one blind intersection after another, US 14 is well-known as a deathtrap to Minnesotans.

This morning on Rochester Today, I asked MnDOT's Dougherty what I could tell our listeners. Basically, a solution is being worked on, but it'll take a while. Click play to hear the whole response and plan so far plus what could be done while we're waiting.  A transcription is below the player.

Basically, the solution is being spearheaded by Olmsted County and MnDOT is one of the partners. IT can take a long time to get all the partners to agree on a plan and then more time to get the community's response and ideas.

If you prefer to read the conversation...this is an automatic transcription, so there will be errors. For the exact statements, click play.

James Rabe (00:00):

Rochester today with Andy Brownell and James Rabe on Newstalk 1340 [inaudible] and 96 nine FM. When we last left the show, we were speaking with min dot Mike, Andy Brownell in his home studio. I'm James, maybe downtown since the accident, the other day at highway 14 and 60th. I've had a lot of people ask me on my other show. The Y-105FM Early Morning Show, when are they going to do something about that? And what can you tell us?

MnDOT Mike (00:28):

Well you know, you are getting closer where as folks may remember there's a corridor study taking place on that between 60th and over to Kasson and looking at all those access points and crossings and, and really trying to make a determination about what's feasible. What's, what's the safest along there so that it's sequenced well. We don't want to do a patchwork and then just force traffic into a trouble spot down the road or something like that. So this corridor of stay has been going on. Olmsted County has been leading it along with its partners who include us Dodge County, the city of Byron and the city of Cason and looking at that, and they will be coming back. I believe this early fall to have another public open house. This one will be virtual again but to walk through the analysis and the study's findings.

MnDOT Mike (01:28):

And then, and then the next step is where does that funding come from? You know, this is a longterm study. So, you know, this was looking out 20 years of where these things can happen, but also it should include some, some interim or short term corrections and things as well too, to just take a look at it. If there are some trouble spots, you know, what can be done now in the interim, if you know, later there's an an interchange or something like that plan, which, which takes significant, significant money as well as time to put into place, you know, is there something like a reduce conflict intersection or, or some things like that that might be able to take place now that can, can help people make better driving decisions in the interim, and then we'll get something more that, that reduces that risk of crash.

James Rabe (02:16):

When you say reduced conflict intersection, what is that Mike?

MnDOT Mike (02:21):

That's your ma Michigan J turn people call them what is it? They call them RCI. So it's like essentially you can't cross the four lanes of traffic. So you need to make a, a right turn quick, and then you can get over into the there's a new left turn lane out of traffic. You go up, you make a, a U-turn that's protected, and then you're able to accelerate and then either continue on that direction or cut across into a turn lane to go further on if you were just going to cut across. So it more complicated. But I liken it to when people first see roundabouts, they were like, these just aren't gonna work. And now if you look at it, you know, people will become more accustomed to them. The more they drive them. And they do see the safety benefits of roundabouts.

Speaker 2 (03:12):

There's a similar safety payback with these RCAs, these reduced conflict intersections. But at the, you know, at the outset, people are a little apprehensive about them. The other good thing I see with as we put more of these in is we get the design better and taking a more account of the driver experience. And so they're getting better and better if you go over to 61 and highway 60 at Wabishaw, we put one of those in last year and it's really worked out well. There's a lot of truck traffic coming up from over from Wisconsin. And, and there were some, some, just some bad crashes, some fatal crashes where people would try to get across all four lanes and just make a bad judgment on the speed of the vehicle. And, and often it would end up being fatal or serious injury.

MnDOT Mike (03:59):

So that's one up there. You know, we're looking at some potentially on highway 52 when we do our southbound project coming up this will begin later next year. And that was one thing I was going to mention is poke folks should just kinda put on their radar. Now there's significant amount of construction. That's going to be taking place on highway 52, basically from some Broda up to st. Paul, you know, over the next four or five years. So stuff that will, you know, like bring traffic down to a single lane in both directions. And I think we've all been on 52 when there has been construction and you have to be in that it can be pretty tough at commuting time or on weekends. So kind of keep your radar up and watch out for more information on that. It'll be our district, as well as the Metro district, we'll be doing projects that will definitely improve the ride and the safety of highway 52. But to get there, there will be some inconvenience with the construction that will have to take place.

The recording above continues at this point, but is not on the Hiway 14 and 60th Avenue topic.

Listen to James Rabe and Jessica Williams 6a to 10a on Y-105 FM's Early Morning Show.

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