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A new sign system will soon be installed at the intersection of Highway 29 and County Road 20, near the Nordic Trails golf course. It will warn drivers of oncoming traffic, similar to the signs that are placed along Highway 29 North and County Road 5 near Jim and Judy’s gas station farther up the road. (Echo Press photo by Al Edenloff)

TIGER signs to alert drivers of trouble spot on Highway 29

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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.

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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.

• • •

Wendy Reuer with the Forum News Service contributed to this story.

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Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
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