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MnDOT receives funds to improve dangerous intersection near Willmar

Tribune file photo

WILLMAR — Nearly one million dollars in Highway Safety Improvement Program funds has been awarded to revamp a dangerous intersection north of Willmar.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation District 8 will receive $900,000 to construct a "reduced conflict intersection" where Kandiyohi County Road 90 crosses the four lanes of U.S Highway 71/state Highway 23.

The intersection, which is a popular crossover to the Willmar Senior High School, has been the site of serious accidents in the past.

The new design, which is sometimes referred to as a J-turn, will decrease fatalities and injuries caused by broadside crashes on four-lane divided highways, said Mandi Lighthizer-Schmidt, MnDOT public affairs coordinator.

With the new intersection — which will not be built until 2021 — drivers from the side street will "only have to be concerned with one direction of traffic on the highway at a time," Lighthizer-Schmidt said.

The design will be similar to the intersection located by the Kandiyohi County Health and Human Services building, she said.

District 8 also received funding to construct two reduced conflict intersections in Marshall in 2018.