Good riddance to the last traffic light on Hwy. 52 between the Twin Cities and Rochester.

MnDOT crews turned off the power Tuesday and today they are cutting down the fixtures at the intersection of Goodhue County Road 24 in Cannon Falls. Motorists will now be able to drive along the heavily-traveled corridor without encountering any traffic signals.

A signal on the south end of Cannon Falls was removed in July as part of a $14.3 million project aimed at making driving through Cannon Falls safer. Between 2004 and 2014, the two signalized intersections in the city saw 124 crashes, which resulted in three serious injuries and one death, the Minnesota Department of Transportation said.

A new interchange was built, County Road 24 was realigned and new frontage roads were built. Four other intersections with out traffic lights were eliminated.

“This important safety project taking place in Cannon Falls is another improvement for motorists, reflecting MnDOT’s focus on safety, while enhancing an efficient and effective transportation system,” said Jeff Vlaminck, district engineer in Rochester for MnDOT’s District 6.

Other upgrades in the area are underway. MnDOT is rebuilding the interchange at Hwy. 52 and County Road 9, seven miles south of Cannon Falls. That project, which should be complete this fall, should provide safer crossing and improved exit and acceleration lanes, said Mike Dougherty, a MnDOT spokesman.

While traffic signals are gone, motorists still need to pay attention and expect delays while passing through Cannon Falls. A repaving project continues and the highway is reduced to a single lane in both directions.

Photo: Courtesy MnDOT

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