Traffic safety study to be conducted on Highway 14
Eagle Lake Mayor Lisa Norton says a traffic study is necessary, but not fast enough to fix dangerous turns and speeds.
MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - The upcoming Highway 14 safety study travels from eastbound County Road 12, near the Walmart Distribution Center, all the way to highway 60, past Eagle Lake.
“In general, there’s about 16,000 vehicles a day on Highway 14 there, and there’s been significant, sustained growth along that highway,” said Zachary Tess.
MnDOT hopes the study will help better understand the area’s traffic patterns, future growth, and what sort of long-term and short-term road improvements are feasible.
Starting November 20, MnDOT will indefinitely close a highway 14 turn lane at Eagle Lake county road 27- due to the amount of crashes at the turn lane.
But, after a crash on Wednesday, Eagle Lake mayor Lisa Norton says these types of crashes have been too frequent for too long.
“I feel terrified. You know, when I wake up in the morning and I step out on the patio, I let my dogs out, and I hear sirens followed by more sirens. And it’s like, that’s someone that we know. Someone in our community, these people, are getting hurt and we have to do something,” said Lisa Norton.
Mayor Norton says a traffic study is necessary, but not fast enough to fix dangerous turns and speeds.
“These safety issues are not new. They’ve been here all along. I’m no engineer and I’m not a safety expert, but I know what people are telling me, what our community wants,” said Norton.
She recommends reduced speeds, improvements to J-turns, acceleration lanes, an overpass near County Road 17, and cones for visibility along highway 14.
MnDOT says it’s important to have a study first before any type of build to be environmentally and fiscally responsible.
“And some people say might say, you know, why study? Why not go build something? They’ll probably be like, threefold. It’s important to know, you know how growth is occurring in the area. So, potential build solution doesn’t limit those kind of things,” said Tess.
Mayor Norton just hopes to build a safer community.
“We still need to have access to the highway. We need people to be able to come here. We need businesses to want to come here. So, obviously, it’s a balance of safety and access,” said Norton.
MnDOT officials say that the Mankato-North Mankato Area Planning Organization will put out their request for proposals tomorrow for potential consultant teams to lead the study.
MnDOT says there will be many opportunities to shape the study through community input events. We’ll bring you the details when those community meetings are announced.
** Editor’s Note: Credit to the photo used from “Facebook” goes to the Blue Earth County- Police/Fire/EMS Scanner Facebook page.
Copyright 2023 KEYC. All rights reserved.