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Similar interchange cut accidents in Belle Plaine

Minnesota Department of Transportation traffic safety officials say a reworked interchange in Belle Plaine, Minn., similar to what's planned for Cotton, has worked remarkably well to reduce serious accidents, especially deadly T-bone crashes.

Minnesota Department of Transportation traffic safety officials say a reworked interchange in Belle Plaine, Minn., similar to what's planned for Cotton, has worked remarkably well to reduce serious accidents, especially deadly T-bone crashes.

MnDOT in 2009 reworked the intersection of U.S. Highway 169, a busy four-lane expressway from Minneapolis to Mankato, and Scott County Highway 3.

For nearly three years from 2002 through 2005, when the intersection was controlled by only a stop sign on County 3, there were 16 accidents at the intersection, including 10 right-angle, or T-bone, crashes.

From 2005 through much of 2007, when stoplights were placed at the intersection in an effort to curb accidents, there were 37 accidents, including 11 T-bones.

From 2009 through 2011, with stoplights removed and a modified J-turn intersection constructed, there were only seven crashes, and none were T-bones.

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"That pretty well shows what our people have said, that stoplights really don't help to reduce accidents in this kind of a situation," said Jim Miles, assistant MnDOT traffic engineer in Duluth.

Related Topics: TRANSPORTATION
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