WINSTED, LESTER PRAIRIE, MN – Planning to improve safety on Highway 7 and McLeod County Rd. 1 between Winsted and Lester Prairie is underway, according to Mandi Lighthizer-Schmidt, director of public engagement, MnDOT District 8
Thist is a joint project between MnDOT and McLeod County. Both groups worked together to submit the project for funding with federal safety dollars, and they have been notified that those safety funds were awarded for this project. ”This intersection has been the site of a number of crashes, with some that resulted in serious injuries. Over a five year period between 2013 and 2017, there were 18 crashes at the intersection which is more than what would be expected at this type of rural intersection,” Lighthizer-Schmidt stated.
Roundabouts show an 86 percent decrease in fatal crashes, an 83 percent decrease in life-altering injury crashes, and a 42 percent overall decrease in the injury crash rate at intersections.
“Design for the roundabout at County Road 1 is just getting started, so we don’t yet know the exact size and configuration of the design, but expect it will generally look and work the same as the other roundabouts on Highway 7. It will be a single lane roundabout. As part of the design process, we review the types and size of vehicles that use the intersection and design it so that the roundabout can accommodate those vehicles. We know there are larger trucks that use County Road 1 going to and from Lester Prairie, Winsted and beyond. We also evaluate past permits that have been issued for oversize vehicles that have traveled on Highway 7 to inform our design of the roundabout.
“After we work this summer on the preliminary design, our current plan is to bring information to the public,” she noted.
Watch future editions of Herald Journal for more information as this project develops.