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Wendy Reuer, Published September 09 2013

State installing one of 15 traffic warning systems in Clay County

MOORHEAD – Two new signs in this area will help alert drivers to approaching traffic in an effort to increase safety in rural areas.

The federal government has agreed to pick up the tab for of 15 “intersection conflict warning systems” across Minnesota.

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.

Of the 15 systems, one will be in Clay County at the intersection of Highway 75 and County State Aid Highway 18.

Another one will be in Otter Tail County at U.S. Highway 10 and County Highway 75.

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.

The systems were installed in Clay County near Barnesville, at Highway 75 and County Road 2; near Underwood at the intersection of Otter Tail 35 and Minnesota Highway 210; near Mahnomen on County Road 4 and Minnesota Highway 200; and in Douglas County at the intersection of Minnesota 29 and County Road 5.

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.

The 15 signs will be fully funded by a $1.45 million Transportation Investment Generating Recovery grant.

“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.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530