TIGER signs to alert drivers of trouble spot on Highway 29
New signs will soon alert drivers about a potentially dangerous traffic spot in Douglas County, the intersection of Highway 29 and County Road 20, near the Nordic Trails golf course north of Alexandria.
The intersection was among 15 rural locations in Minnesota that were recently selected for “intersection conflict warning systems,” designed to alert drivers of approaching traffic.
The 15 signs will be fully funded by a federal $1.45 million Transportation Investment Generating Recovery grant, also known as TIGER grants.
“Based on the average daily traffic at these intersections, drivers and passengers in more than 80,000 vehicles will experience the added safety and security offered by these systems on a daily basis,” said Sue Mulvihill, MnDOT deputy commissioner and chief engineer in a statement.
The systems are signs placed at all four sides of an intersection that light up to display a message alerting drivers to other vehicles also approaching the intersection.
The signs should be familiar to Douglas County drivers. A similar warning system is in place at the intersection of Highway 29 and County Road 5, near Jim and Judy’s gas station.
District 4 of the Minnesota Department of Transportation — which includes the counties of Clay Douglas, Otter Tail, Pope, Stevens, Swift, Traverse, Wilkin, Big Stone and Becker — was one of the first in the state to post the traffic systems in 2011, said Tom Swenson, traffic engineer.
Swenson said the intersections were chosen not necessarily because of a high volume of crashes, but because the accidents that happened in those areas resulted in serious injuries or fatalities.
“We wanted to try and see if these would help reduce the number of fatal and serious injury crashes,” he said.
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Wendy Reuer with the Forum News Service contributed to this story.