October 09, 2012
Expect delays on Highway 14 from North Mankato to Nicollet as a new project gets underway today… with improvements to make the dangerous six mile stretch of Highway 14 safer. The project will create an 8 foot median between the lanes, add rumble strips, and install plastic poles, called delineators along both lanes, to stop cars from passing.
Zachary Tess, Project Managter with the Minnesota Department of Transportation thedelineators tells KTOE News that the delineators are 42 inch tall hollow plastic poles, about as thick as a baseball bat, on flexible bases. While the poles are desinged to bend upon impact, Tess says they do cause property damage to vehicles.
Tess told us that the poles are designed to withstand about 50 hits by cars going 60 mph, but not so much snow plows.
Tess says if a snow plow hits a delineator, it will shear the post off, but he adds that there is a four foot buffer zone on the lanes that should give the plows enough room.
The project will also put a new three inch overlayment on top of the existing pavement, which Tess says will be used in the bigger Highway 14 four-lane expansion project which is scheduled for 2017 or 2018. He says the existing lanes will become the eastbound lanes and a new two lane stretch of roadway will be constructed to the north for westbound traffic.
The safety improvements will cost $2.5 million dollars and should be completed by November of this year.