School bells seem like a long way off, but United Way of Brown County is already working to help families get their kids’ backpacks filled for school. It takes a lot of money to fill a backpack and United Way knows that some families struggle to get this done.
Letters of invitation were sent out to almost 600 children, throughout Brown County, whose families qualify for the free lunch program. “Many families take advantage of this program and tell us how grateful they are to get these supplies,” said United Way Executive Director Donna Lambrecht. “We had such a great response last year from people who dropped off supplies at the many donation boxes we had placed throughout the county. We hope to see lots of donations again this year.”
Last year, the United Way collected 7,500 pencils, 1,300 spiral notebooks, 500 boxes of Kleenex, 300 highlighters and much more. The need is just as great this year.
“If you want to help kids be excited to start school because they have a new backpack filled with supplies on their school’s list, consider putting crayons, markers, highlighters, hand sanitizer and much more in a donation box near you,” said Lambrecht. Monetary gifts can be sent to United Way Backpack Project, P.O. Box 476, New Ulm, MN 56073.
The deadline to drop off donations at the Sleepy Eye locations is July 26.
Motorists on Highway 14 in Sleepy Eye will no longer need to stop at the intersection with 1st Avenue after August 7. However, cross traffic on 1st Avenue will need to comply with a stop sign before entering the intersection, when it is clear. The evaluation and proposed removal of the signal is to improve traffic flow and safety. Current and forecasted traffic at the intersection is not high enough to warrant replacing the aging signal, which was installed in 1971.
As part of the deactivation of the signal, MnDOT will be installing pedestrian-activated flashing warning signs to facilitate pedestrian crossings.
Replacing the signal with the through-stop control (a two-way stop) is expected to reduce the frequency and severity of crashes, based on crash records from other urban through-stop controlled intersections with similar traffic volumes. It is believed that through-stop controlled intersections have fewer crashes because motorists are required to be attentive and actively look for a safe gap in traffic, rather than relying on a traffic signal indication that does not tell the motorists if it is safe to enter the intersection. Replacing the signal with through-stop control will also reduce delays for both motorists and pedestrians at the intersection.
Crews from the Minnesota Department of Transportation will remove the signal indications on August 7th and will add the following signs:
- Traffic Control Change Ahead – on all intersection approaches
- Stop ahead warning signs – on both 1st Avenue approaches
- Stop Signs with flashing LED lights – on both 1st Avenue approaches
- Cross traffic does not stop – on both 1st Avenue approaches, below the stop signs
In conjunction with the signal deactivation, MnDOT will be evaluating the traffic operations of the revised intersection over the next few months. If during the evaluation no adverse traffic impacts are observed by MnDOT, the signal will remain deactivated until it can be removed with the Highway 14 resurfacing project in 2018. In addition to the expected crash and delay benefits, the removal of the signal will also result in cost savings to the city of Sleepy Eye and MnDOT.
The traffic signal two blocks to the west at the intersection of Highway 14 and Highway 4, which has higher traffic volumes, will be replaced with the resurfacing project scheduled in 2018. MnDOT Project Manager Robert Jones can be contacted about projects on Highway 14 in the Sleepy Eye and Springfield area at 507-304-6198 or Robert.firstname.lastname@example.org .
The Highway 4 resurfacing project from Fairfax to the intersection of Highway 4 and Highway 68 will start Monday, July 17. The project includes the resurfacing of Highway 4 for 13.4 miles, the replacement of two culverts, the replacement of bridge approach panels and the installation of new guardrail. It will require a short detour from July 17-August 4 (detour map below). The road will be open to traffic after August 4 during the remainder of the project work.
Central Specialties, Inc. is the contractor on the project. The total project cost is $1.1 million. For more information on the project visit www.mndot.gov/d8/projects/hwy4fairfax/index.html.
Motorists are advised that as early as July 5, Highway 14 from Springfield to Sleepy Eye will be detoured for a concrete resurfacing project. The detour is expected to remain in place until completion in mid-September.
Businesses and residents along the route are encouraged to attend a construction meeting held by the contractor on Monday, June 26 at 2:30 p.m. at the Sleep Eye Community Center, 115 2nd Avenue NE. The contractor will discuss access management and construction staging. This project will be done under a detour, however, there will be 24/7 access for all residences and businesses.
Traffic will be detoured to Brown County Road 4/Redwood County Road 13, Redwood County Road 16, Highway 68 and Highway 4. All traffic over 13 feet six inches and/or over 80,000 pounds must contact MnDOT permitting office for alternate detour due to the low bridge on Highway 4 north of Sleepy Eye.
PCiRoads LLC of St. Michael was awarded the contract for the project with a bid of $6,641,276. The project includes a concrete overlay and shoulder work.
To request an ASL or foreign language interpreter or other reasonable accommodation, call Janet Miller at 651-366-4720 or 1-800-657-3774 (Greater Minnesota); 711 or 1-800-627-3529 (Minnesota Relay). Individuals may also send an e-mail to email@example.com.
For updated road condition information, call 511 or visit www.511mn.org.