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Improvements on Highway 52 Southbound

Some big improvements are set to happen on Highway 52 between Cannon Falls and Zumbrota and residents say these changes are needed.

Posted: Feb. 14, 2019 11:27 AM

ZUMBROTA, Minn. - 

Frederick Fredrickson has been a farmer in Zumbrota most of his life. The way he sees it, too many accidents happen on Highway 52. 

"These little looparounds are too short for a semi to make it around and go back again," Fredrickson said. 

He is already brimming with ideas on what to do to make it safer for drivers. 

"I would like to see an overpass just like they do on 9," Fredrickson said. 

For him, any changes made on Highway 52 are personal. 

"My great aunt was killed on Highway 52," Fredrickson said. 

Some of the changes the Minnesota Department of Transportation will make are to replace bridges and improve intersections and also repave southbound lanes. 

Their goal is to make Highway 52 a freeway at some point -- but that is billions of dollars away. 

Dustin Vieths owns a trucking company and lives a few miles off 52 and uses the highway regularly. 

"More acceleration lanes I guess," Vieths said. "When you pull off I guess if they don't make it into a freeway, if you have acceleration lanes on the shoulders or even just a wider shoulder on the acceleration lane, that would help." 

Vieths believes MN-Dot should get more creative with the roads. 

"If they thought outside the box, there's a lot more opportunities out there inside the footprint," Vieths said. "I keep telling the guys to go for a drive, get in their car, go on a nice day, look at the footprint, see the county roads, see the township roads, see how the land lays."

If MN-Dot decides to move forward, they will begin construction the spring of 2021 and complete in the fall of 2023. A MN-DOT representative tells KIMT the cost would be between 50 and 60 million dollars. 

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