The Free Press, Mankato, MN

June 17, 2013

MnDOT fixes coming for arrow, incorrect sign


The Mankato Free Press

---- — Q:The left-turn green arrow on the northbound lanes of Highway 169 and Jefferson Avenue in St. Peter has not worked for weeks. Sometimes you need to wait for several light cycles to be able to turn left (west) on a green light due to traffic congestion. Who should be contacted to get this green arrow fixed?

A: The Minnesota Department of Transportation, which is what Ask Us did.

“First, we would like to thank the reader for identifying the issue,” responded MnDOT traffic engineer Scott Thompson. “With the many assets that MnDOT has on the trunk highway system (signs, pavement markings, traffic signals, etc.), we very often have to rely on public observation to let us know if something is not functioning correctly.”

A MnDOT worker visited the intersection and confirmed the reader’s observation, Thompson wrote, but a MnDOT signal technician from the Twin Cities will need to travel to St. Peter to evaluate the problem.

”Our goal is to have the left-turn arrow operational by the end of the month,” according to Thompson. “In the meantime, motorists are still allowed to turn left at the signal (when the green ball is illuminated), provided they yield to all oncoming traffic and any pedestrians in the crosswalk.”

Q: When are they going to finish the sidewalks and the landscaping on the south side of Madison Avenue? It should have been finished nine months ago.

A: “Trail work is scheduled to begin this week and is anticipated to be completed by June 24,” said Assistant City Manager Tanya Ange. “The delay in completion was due to timing of power line burying and delays in spring construction.”

Q: When traveling east on Highway 14 approaching North Mankato from Nicollet, there is an “End Road Work” sign just before the Lookout Drive exit. Yet, within a quarter mile, the traffic is merged from two lanes into one lane for the next half mile or so and there is work being done in the median. Is this an error by MnDOT? It has been this way for a month or longer.

A: “Thank you for notifying us,” responded Rebecca Arndt, public information officer for MnDOT. “... It will be removed promptly thanks to your assistance.”

The “End Road Work” sign was installed for the 2012 phase of the two-year construction project to extend the four-lane portion of Highway 14 to the west and build a new interchange at Nicollet County Road 41. This year, the work zone expanded because the crossover between Lookout Drive and Lor Ray Drive is a necessary part of the traffic management for the project. They just forgot to move the sign.

Contact Ask Us at The Free Press, P.O Box 3287, Mankato, MN 56002. Call Mark Fischenich at 344-6321 or email your question to mfischenich@mankatofreepress.com; put Ask Us in the subject line.