Concerned citizens want changes made at Eyota intersection - KXLT - Fox 47 Rochester MN News, Weather, Sports #rochmn

Concerned citizens want changes made at Eyota intersection

EYOTA, Minn. (FOX 47)- The intersection of Highway 14 and Highway 42 near Eyota has been a hot topic of discussion for many years, and a week after an accident there claimed the life of a Rochester man, people are demanding change.

April 6th was the deadliest day on Minnesota roads so far in 2013, a day that included a crash at the intersection in question, claiming the life of Marvin Jech of Rochester.

That has spurred, once more, a call for improved safety at the dangerous stretch of road.

"It is my hope that as we stop this process, that we will be able to look at what are the options? What are the alternatives?" said Senator Carla Nelson, a Republican from Rochester.

People in the audience wasted no time getting their points about the intersection across, including Jason Jech, Marvin's son.

"Imagine our devastation when the State Patrol showed up at our parent's house and told my mom that her husband, our father and our children's grandfather, was gone forever. One minute he was making plans for a fun weekend, and the next he was gone forever."

He even took the time to share his thoughts on his impressions of the area.

"Many people have said that they take alternate routes to avoid this intersection. If so many people are scared of this intersection, it makes me wonder why more has not been done to make it safer."

Through community reaction and discussion with the engineers, there were many possible options for making the intersection, including a proposal for a round-about.

But the road studies used by the engineers were not enough to satisfy those in the room.

"I need you to get in your pick-up and come out here and do a physical examination of what's going on out here," one concerned member of the audience told the engineers. "Because the studies that you've been doing and the way you've been doing it is not working."

A proposal like a round-about could take years and millions of dollars to complete, but Representative Mike Benson wants smaller measures taken now.

"Having somebody to come out and score the pavement to put rumble strips in until we get to a point, and I know that adds to the cost," says Benson, a Republican from Rochester, "but the fact is that if that can save one life between now and the round-abouts, that certainly is a smart investment."

While no decision was made from the meeting, the process for change has begun, and it is a journey that could lead to one less life lost.

Other options that were discussed at the meeting were the addition of rumble strips and reduced speeds as drivers enter Eyota. 

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