Drivers heading to the Iron Range along Highway 53 will want to know about a temporary traffic signal change that will happen on Thursday, October 8.  According to information released by the Minnesota Department of Transportation, work crews will need to temporarily install a traffic signal change at the intersection at 13th Street and at 12th Avenue.  The signal work is part of a larger project to make improvements to that intersection.

Along with the temporary traffic signal change, the west side at 13th Street will be closed.  Also - the north side of 12th Avenue will be closed.  The Minnesota Department of Transportation will post detours for signed access to 13th Street and 12th Avenue; through traffic along Highway 53 will be maintained.  Full details about the detour can be found by clicking here and visiting the map provided by the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

All of this traffic signal work is part of the project MNDOT has been working on to make safety improvements to both of the Highway 53 intersections - at 13th Street and at 12th Avenue.  All told, the agency is spending about $1.6 million to install turn lane and install better permanent traffic signals.  There will also be accessibility improvements made.

Historically, these two intersections have seen a large number of vehicular crashes.  The 13th Street intersection has had 61 crashes from 2006-2016 and the 12th Avenue West intersection has had 58 crashes from 2006-2015 - representing a significant safety hazard.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation started work at both of these intersections back in July.  The project is nearing its completion, as the timeline presented by the agency shows work wrapping up in late October.

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