Good riddance to the last traffic light on Hwy. 52 between the Twin Cities’ southern reaches and Rochester.
Road crews turned off the power Tuesday, and on Wednesday they cut down the fixtures at the intersection of Goodhue County Road 24 in Cannon Falls. Motorists can now drive the heavily traveled corridor without stopping for even one red light.
A signal on the south end of Cannon Falls was removed in July as part of a $14.3 million project aimed at making the drive through Cannon Falls safer. Between 2004 and 2014, the two intersections in the city saw 124 crashes, which resulted in three serious injuries and one death, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) said.
A new interchange was built, County Road 24 was realigned and new frontage roads were built. Four other intersections without traffic lights also were eliminated.
“This important safety project taking place in Cannon Falls,” said Jeff Vlaminck, district engineer in Rochester for MnDOT’s District 6, “is another improvement for motorists, reflecting MnDOT’s focus on safety, while enhancing an efficient and effective transportation system.”
Other upgrades in the area are underway. MnDOT is rebuilding the interchange at Hwy. 52 and County Road 9, 7 miles south of Cannon Falls. That project should offer a safer crossing and improved exit and acceleration lanes, said MnDOT’s Mike Dougherty.
While traffic signals are gone, motorists still need to pay attention and expect delays at Cannon Falls. A repaving project continues.