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Caution! New signs ahead

WORTHINGTON — Following successful implementation near Mankato, motorists in the southwest portion of the state will soon see new dynamic message signs constructed along two major traffic corridors. The electronic signs will offer real-time information to drivers during emergencies. 

The signs are one component of the Toward Zero Deaths project, a joint venture between the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), State Patrol, Public Safety and Emergency Services. The electronic message boards will only be used for events and emergencies that impact traffic. MnDOT and the Minnesota State Patrol will share use of and responsibility for the messages. By providing real-time information to the motorists, the signs can improve route selection, reduce travel time and mitigate the severity/duration of incidents.

Construction on the signs will begin Aug. 25. Motorists can expect shoulder closures on Minnesota 60 near Worthington, Windom, St. James, Madelia and Lake Crystal. On Interstate 90, the locations will include Worthington, Jackson, Fairmont and Blue Earth.

MnDOT engineer Dan Franta said Worthington residents may see work begin in early September. There will be minimal disruption to traffic during the construction phase, as most of the signs will require work in the ditch along the respective roadway.

One electronic sign will be placed south of Worthington on Minnesota 60, and two will be placed on I-90 east and west of the city. In addition to the electronic signs, Minnesota 60 will be have concrete slabs poured for solar power signs, and I-90 will receive “Type A” signs, which are more traditional road signs. For example, “I-90 closed when flashing” signs are Type A signs.

Work is slated to be completed on the signs by October. Global Specialties Contractor Inc., of Eagan, has been contracted for the $302,660 project.

Robin Baumgarn

Robin Baumgarn is a new reporter for the Daily Globe covering the Education and Northwest Iowa beats. Prior to coming to the Globe, she worked for the Ocheyedan Press-Melvin News, a weekly Iowa paper for three years. She is a 2012 graduate of Iowa Lakes Community College and lives in Northwest Iowa with her husband Ryan and three pets, Fidget, Missy and Samwise.

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