AUDIO: Interchange has been problem-free

AUDIO: Interchange has been problem-free Click to Enlarge Photo:

Dec 9, 2013 at 8:50 am

SARTELL, Minn. (KNSI) It's been nearly two months since a new $10 million interchange opened at Minnesota Highway 15 and Stearns County Road 120 in Sartell, and in that time, there have been few issues MnDOT has had to deal with.

The diverging diamond interchange is only the second of its kind in Minnesota. The other is in Olmsted County. It allows the two directions of traffic on County 120 to temporarily cross into the opposite lanes of traffic as they drive on the Highway 15 overpass.

MnDOT project engineer Tim Paul says, "things have been going very well. We've only been heard positive reviews from the public."

He says at first, "people were hesitant that it would be a situation like we had with the roundabouts, where there would be a learning curve." 

Paul says one of the things they are working through is how to most efficently and effectively plow snow at the interchange this winter. He says, "they are still in the process of figuring out how to best handle the snow, specifically in the center of the bridge with the raised median and pedestrian walk-through area." Paul says the snow maintenance is a shared responsility between Stearns County and MnDOT.

With this project now behind them, Paul says they'll set their sights on a big U.S. Highway 10 project for 2014 and 2015. That will start on the east side of St. Cloud near Saint Germain Street and head north. It will include seven miles of new concrete overlay. And there's an Interstate 94 six lane expansion between Rogers and St. Michael that is a Corridor of Commerce project initiated by Governor Mark Dayton. 

Paul says the new interchange has been mostly problem-free since opening

Paul says MnDOT is still figuring out the best way to plow it

Paul says you'll probably see more diverging diamond interchanges popping up across the state

Paul says 2014 projects include a seven mile concrete overlay on U.S. Highway 10

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