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Hwy 61 Intersections Safety Project

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    Welcome to the Hwy 61 Intersection Safety Projects virtual open house!

    Hwy 61 Intersection Safety Projects

    Welcome to the Hwy 61 Intersection Safety Projects virtual open house! Today you will learn about future improvements in Goodhue County for people traveling on and across Hwy 61. Click through the slides to read more about two new highway projects near your community.

    1. Hwy 61 and Goodhue County Road 18 intersection improvements
    2. Hwy 61 and Hwy 316 intersection improvements

    Hwy 61 Project Area Map

    Map showing the two locations of improvements.


    Click the image above to enlarge.

    About This Presentation

    • Navigate: Click the arrow on the right of your screen to go forward or on the left to go back. Use the navigation bar on the side of your screen to revisit any part of the meeting.
    • Comment: Provide a comment at any point by clicking the “Comment” button at the top right of your screen. Once finished, please make sure to hit "Submit" to confirm that your comment is sent to the project team. Close the form to continue through the slides.

    To prevent the further spread of COVID-19, MnDOT has indefinitely postponed all public meetings and in-person events. Public engagement on transportation and construction projects remains a priority and we appreciate you taking time to join us online to learn more about these projects.

    Project Overview

    Understanding Hwy 61

    Hwy 61 is an important east-west travel corridor through Dakota and Goodhue counties, connecting commuters, communities and commerce from the Twin Cities to southeast Minnesota along the scenic Mississippi River. MnDOT has evaluated Hwy 61 to identify improvements to help with safety and traffic flow through the corridor, specifically at the Hwy 61/Hwy 316 and Hwy 61/County Road 18 intersections in Goodhue County. Through this evaluation MnDOT has made recommendations on the following:

    • Improving intersection safety for all users
    • Improving ways to safely get to and from the highway
    • Shortening wait times and keeping traffic moving
    • Bicycle facilities and connections

    Project Schedule

    Project Schedule


    Click the image above to enlarge.

    Corridor Background

    Prioritizing Safety on Hwy 61

    Over the past few years, MnDOT has been evaluating safety and travel conditions in this area to determine needed safety improvements. Check out the identified safety issues and possible solutions below.

    Safety issues icon

    Safety Issues Identified

    Significant safety issues were identified at both of these intersections (Hwy 61/Hwy 316 and Hwy 61/County Road 18), which include:

    • A history of serious right-angle crashes. Right-angle crashes, sometimes called “T-bone” crashes, are often more deadly or serious than other crashes. Traditional four-lane divided highway intersections, such as these, have an increased risk of severe right-angle crashes, especially for drivers attempting to cross all four lanes of traffic or turn left.
    • Difficulty getting on/off Hwy 61 during certain times of the day.
    • A wide variety of roadway users, with many types of vehicles.
    An arrow from the safety problems to the safety solutions.
    Safety solutions icon

    Safety Solutions Proposed

    After studying these findings, MnDOT is proposing to construct the following intersection types to increase safety and better manage travel needs in the area:

    • A Reduced Conflict Intersection (RCI) at the Hwy 61/County Road 18 intersection
    • A roundabout at the Hwy 61/Hwy 316 intersection


    Click through the next slides to learn more about the intersections types and how they operate.

    Intersection: Hwy 61 & County Road 18

    About This Intersection

    MnDOT knows that Goodhue County Road 18 is the primary access to/from Treasure Island Resort and Casino, Prairie Island Indian Community and the Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant. The Hwy 61/County Road 18 intersection has a history of serious left turn crashes due to speed, traffic volumes and poor sightlines.

    Map showing the intersection.


    Click the image above to enlarge.


    Improving This Intersection

    To address the safety issues created by left turns and crossing traffic at the intersection, MnDOT is proposing to construct a Reduced Conflict Intersection (RCI).

    What is an RCI?

    Highway access icon

    Maintains access to and from the highway for all travelers

    Crash risk icon

    Significantly reduces the risk of crashes, especially severe right-angle crashes

    Safety cone icon

    Increases safety for all users

    Left turn icon

    Makes it easier to turn left through major intersections


    Click to the next slide to tell us how you use this intersection today.

    Public Input Opportunity

    Your Feedback — Survey Questions




    Hwy 61 & County Road 18

    In order to design an improved intersection at Hwy 61 & County Road 18, it's helpful to know how people currently travel through this area. Please complete and submit all four survey questions shown here.

    Designing an RCI

    The Reduced Conflict Intersection (RCI)

    Check out the design diagram of the new RCI design below. Then keep reading to learn more about how this will change the way you travel through the intersection.

    Map showing the intersection.


    Click the image above to enlarge.

    Changes In Direction and Access

    Today, motorists can drive through the intersection and make direct left turns from County Road 18 to Hwy 61.

    In the future, motorists will have modified turning movements for making the left turn:

    1. To go southbound on Hwy 61, motorists will need to make a right turn directly into the median left turn lane at County Road 18, followed immediately by a U-turn.
    2. An acceleration lane will be provided in the median for drivers to safely increase speed before merging into southbound Hwy 61 traffic.
    3. The U-turn will be designed to accommodate trucks and large equipment turning completely in the median area without encroaching into the lanes of Hwy 61 or crossing high-speed traffic.

    Please Note: Right turns to and from Hwy 61 will not be affected by the project. However, access to Hwy 61 from Treasure Island Resort and Casino and the Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant will change after construction is complete in fall 2022.


    Navigating an RCI

    How To Navigate an RCI

    What does this intersection look like in operation?

    Watch the short animation below to see how this intersection will operate after construction is complete.

    Intersection: Hwy 61 & Hwy 316

    About This Intersection

    Hwy 316 is a busy route that provides a direct connection between Hastings and Red Wing, with a high number of westbound right turns from Hwy 61 to Hwy 316 and southbound left turns from Hwy 316 to Hwy 61 during the weekdays.

    Map showing the intersection.


    Click the image above to enlarge.


    Improving This Intersection

    This intersection has a history of serious crashes in recent years. A roundabout is being proposed at this intersection to increase safety, improve traffic flow and reduce wait times for people traveling on and across Hwy 61 in this area. The roundabout will also support future development on the property south of the intersection.

    What are the benefits of a roundabout?

    Roundabout intersection icon
    • Significantly reduces the risk of serious and fatal crashes
    • Allows motorists to get through the intersection more safely and in less time
    • Handles more traffic with less delay than most stop signs or traffic signals
    • Slows traffic down to make entering and exiting the area easier for all users

    What about improvements for bicyclists?

    At the same time, MnDOT will make additional improvements to help improve safety and connections for bicyclists with the addition of a trail that goes around the new intersection and connects to the on-road Mississippi River Trail system.



    Click to the next slide to tell us how you use this intersection today.

    Public Input Opportunity

    Your Feedback — Survey Questions




    Hwy 61 & Hwy 316

    In order to design an improved intersection at Hwy 61 & Hwy 316, it's helpful to know how people currently travel through this area. Please complete and submit all four survey questions shown here.

    Designing a Roundabout

    The Roundabout Intersection

    Check out the design diagram of the new roundabout intersection design below. Then keep reading to learn more about how this will change the way you travel through the intersection.

    Map showing the intersection.


    Click the image above to enlarge.

    Traveler Tips

    Below are some quick tips that will help each mode of travel learn how to navigate the roundabout.

    • Slow down when approaching a roundabout.
    • Yield to vehicles already in the roundabout and merge into traffic when it is safe.
    • Continue through the roundabout until you reach your exit. Do not stop or pass other vehicles in the roundabout.

    • Give large trucks and equipment extra space in a roundabout.
    • Large trucks will be able to make all turns within the roundabout.
    • The intersection is being designed to accommodate large agricultural equipment.

    • MnDOT is making additional improvements to help improve safety and connections for bicyclists.
    • Bicyclists following the Mississippi River Trail can bypass the roundabout by using trails around the intersection or flow with traffic to continue on the route.

    Navigating a Roundabout

    How To Navigate a Roundabout

    What does this intersection look like in operation?

    Watch the short animation below to see how this intersection will operate after construction is complete.

    Stay Connected

    Thank you for your interest in these Hwy 61 intersection safety projects! It is important to understand the projects and be informed of what’s happening in your community. Now is the right time to provide your feedback to MnDOT as we finalize the design details for both projects.


    Sign Up For Project Updates

    MnDOT website icon

    For more information about the project and to sign up to receive email updates, please visit:

    Our project team has additional, future outreach planned for these projects, pending the status of COVID-19 restrictions. Email subscribers will be the first to know about events and other ways to be involved in the project.


    Follow MnDOT on Facebook

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    Join the Facebook group:
    MnDOT | Southeast Minnesota


    Contact MnDOT

    Make a comment

    To submit a general comment or question for the project team, click on the comment button in the top right corner of your screen.


    Questions for the MnDOT project team?

    Chad Hanson, Project Manager
    chad.hanson@state.mn.us | 507-286-7637


    Share This Information

    Please pass along the link to this virtual open house to family, friends and coworkers who use this stretch of Hwy 61 and these intersections.

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