June 13, 2018
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'A moment can save a life' is theme of new work zone safety campaign

By Sue Roe

Map of I35 split project.

This is one of the graphics used in the “A moment can save a life” safety campaign.

This summer, MnDOT crews are working on more than 250 construction projects and many more road maintenance projects around the state. As these work zones pop up, a new safety campaign will remind the traveling public to slow down and pay attention.

The campaign includes the theme of "A moment can save a life,” reminding motorists that making the decision to slow down, not drive distracted and follow posted speed limits and signs can make a difference in the lives of everyone who drives through or works in work zones.

Several graphics were created to convey these safety messages and also provide work zone facts, such as that speeding in work zones can land you a $300 fine and that speeding is a factor in 28 percent of fatal work zone crashes.

The graphics are posted online and will be used on social media throughout the construction season. The graphics were adapted from a campaign from the National Asphalt Pavement Association.

Another component of the campaign is to feature construction and maintenance workers in Newsline and on social media. These profiles will feature different kinds of jobs MnDOT employees do in work zones in both video and static format. The theme for the profiles is “Watch for Us.”

Earl Jones, Metro District Golden Valley truck station, describes how he sets cones for lane closures during bridge inspections. This video is one of several planned for the 2018 construction season to profile the different kinds of jobs MnDOT employees do and to bring attention to work zone safety. The theme for the profiles is "Watch for Us." Video by Rich Kemp

Two-year I-35 project between Lino Lakes, Forest Lake includes road resurfacing, bridge replacement

By Rich Kemp

Map of I35 north metro split project.

The Interstate 35 north metro split project will resurface six miles of the roadway and replace three bridges.

Travelers making their way to Duluth and the north shore may see some delays over the next two summers on Interstate 35.

Six miles of I-35 from just south of the I-35 split in Forest Lake to a half-mile north of Hwy 8 at the Chisago/Washington county line will be resurfaced. Road resurfacing helps to preserve and extend the use of the pavement. The work will also include replacing three bridges.

“The existing pavement was in bad shape and was in need of an overlay,” said Ryan Coddington, Metro District east area engineer. “The roadway had severe cracks, potholes and patches in the pavement surface and underlying layers. Three of the bridges on the corridor are original to when the freeway was built in the late 1960’s and are being replaced.”

The project started with site preparation in fall 2017 and will be complete in fall 2019. Project highlights include:

  • Resurface existing pavement
  • Replace the Hwy 97 bridge over I-35 with a diverging diamond interchange for better traffic flow and improved safety
  • Update crosswalks at Hwy 97 to meet modern accessibility standards
  • Replace the flyover ramp from westbound Hwy 8 to southbound I-35 with a loop ramp
  • Make drainage improvements

Traffic delays and backups are expected throughout the course of the two-year $50 million project. The project will provide a better ride quality, as well as improve safety and traffic flow on I-35 and at the Hwy 97 interchange. 

Motorists are advised to plan ahead and allow extra time to reach their destinations. More information can be found on the Project website. Other projects that affect travel on I-35 between Cloquet and Owatonna can be found on the I-35 Corridor projects page.

Photo of I35 split project.

The Interstate 35 north metro split project will be completed in fall 2019. Photo by Rich Kemp

MnDOT installs safety countermeasures at stop signs, stop lights

By Sue Roe

Photo of Derek Leuer.

Derek Leuer, traffic safety engineer, displays what the yellow reflective tape looks like around the back plate of a traffic signal light. This tape will be installed on 101 signals statewide this summer. Photo by Sue Roe

MnDOT is working on ways to reduce crashes at intersections by making stop signs and stop lights more visible to motorists. The agency will apply reflective red metal strips on nearly 1,000 stop sign posts and fluorescent yellow tape around 100 traffic signal lights across the state this summer.

“We think these two low-cost safety countermeasures will help reduce crashes at these higher risk intersections,” said Derek Leuer, traffic safety engineer.

The stop sign project will be implemented on locally owned roads that intersect with two-lane, two-way state highways. The highways chosen are considered moderate- and high-risk crash corridors.

The reflective red strips will be installed on the stop sign post directly beneath the stop sign.

Rural intersection crashes are a serious issue in Minnesota, according to Leuer. From 2008 to 2012, there were 533 serious and fatal injury crashes at rural state highway intersections.

“This project aims to reduce those fatal and serious injury crashes in the state by making the stop signs easier to see,” he said. “Fatal right-angle crashes often are the result of one or more drivers failing to comply with a stop sign.”

The traffic signal project includes installing fluorescent yellow tape around the rectangular back plate that contains the green, red and yellow traffic signal bulbs. Leuer said this is a proven Federal Highway Administration safety countermeasure already used by other states.

“The reflective tape will make the signals look bigger and help motorists be more aware of them,” Leuer said. “This will be especially helpful at night and in low-visibility conditions.”

The florescent yellow tape will go on signals at intersections that are considered higher risk for crashes and may have a record of past crashes.

Cost of both projects is about $500,000.

MnDOT will evaluate both projects for effectiveness on an ongoing basis over the next three years.

“The installation of red reflective strips to stop sign posts and yellow fluorescent tape around signal lights may become another low-cost tool to help MnDOT improve roadway safety and move Minnesota toward zero deaths,” Leuer said.

Chade Trupe, Tom Brown added to vacation donation list

Chade Trupe, transportation materials technician in District 6, and Tom Brown, transportation generalist in District 2, are eligible for the vacation donation program.  

Trupe has been a state employee since 2013 and works at the inventory center in Rochester. He has been diagnosed with stage 3A Non Small lung Cancer. He is currently undergoing Proton Radiation and Chemotherapy.

Brown works as the Deer River truck station and has worked for MnDOT since 1989. He has been battling pancreatitis for years and has most recently had to have his distal pancreas and spleen removed. He has had complications from the surgery and will need more time to recover.

Also eligible for the vacation donation program are MnDOT employees Donald Obernolte, Office of Environmental Stewardship; Patty Johnson, District 3 maintenance; Kyle Goosman, District 8 transportation generalist senior; Racheal Glancy, Project Delivery Division, Melissa Janzen, Office of Land Management, and Tim Gilder, Metro District maintenance supervisor. See May 30 Newsline for more information. 

To donate vacation hours, go to the Employee Self Service Web site and click “Other Payroll” and then “Leave Donations.” The site also allows employees to view a list of all state employees eligible for the program and to enroll as a recipient.

The Leadership Development Program can help you drive your own potential

The enrollment period for the LDP program begins June 25.

Why LDP?
Trying to decide if the program is right for you? Watch the video below to hear how MnDOT colleagues have benefited from participating in the LDP program.

What is LDP?
The Leadership Development Program is a statewide MnDOT program open for all employees. The program enables employees to create their own development goals and set their own development schedule to fit their busy work schedule. It encourages employees to think differently about leadership development. Instead of a “career ladder,” think about creating your own career pathway.

How to join LDP?
The 2018-2019 Leadership Development Program is structured with two groups starting at different times during the program year.  Group 11 will start Sept. 4, 2018 and Group 12 will start March 15, 2019.  Employees can enroll in either group during the enrollment period, which starts June 25.
Note: A second enrollment period for Group 12 is scheduled for December.

To learn more about the Leadership Development Program, and how to enroll, visit the LDP website, or attend a Skype information session. See the dates below.  To register for an information session, send an email to LDP Team with the date you want to attend.

Leadership Development Program – optional Skype information sessions

  • Tuesday, June 26, 1:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, June 27, 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
  • Thursday, June 28, 10:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
  • Tuesday, July 10, 2:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • Monday, July 16, 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
The LDP Team is available to answer questions. Contact Carol Hennekens, Shawn Meade, or Heidi Hilliker.

This video explains the LDP program and how MnDOT employees have benefited. Video bproduced by Video Services


What's new on the web

The Employee Bulletin Board offers employees a chance to share ads and notices on iHub.

Employee Bulletin Board makes it easy to share information, notices
While not exactly "new" on the web, the Employee Bulletin Board on iHUB has been updated as another way to share information about upcoming retirements, funeral notices and carpool or volunteer opportunities. Employees also may use the bulletin board to advertise items to trade or sell; items are divided into categories for easy searching.

MnDOT employees can submit an item to the bulletin board by filling out the online submission form. If the submission meets guidelines (based on MnDOT’s Appropriate Use Policy), the administrator will post the ad and notify the employee. If not, the administrator will contact the employee with an explanation for not posting the ad. While the bulletin board allows for the sale of personal items, promotion of personal small/side businesses is not accepted.

New submissions are typically posted once a week, so be patient if an ad doesn’t appear right away. In order to maintain the most current information, ads are posted for one month and then removed, and employees are encouraged to notify the administrator if the ad can be removed any earlier. Send updates or questions to

New Library Materials posted on the Web
New Library Materials are available at This issue includes a feature about a new current awareness alert on data and government transportation organizations.

New Library Materials is a compilation of new titles and other resources added to the library collection during the previous month(s). Previous editions of New Library Materials are archived and available at

If you would like to be added to the distribution list or have any questions, email MnDOT Library at or send requests via the Ask a Librarian Web page (


On the Job: Justin Attipou gains variety of experience as a graduate engineer

By Judy Jacobs

Do you or a co-worker have an interesting job to share with readers? Send us your ideas, and we'll contact you for more information. Recent employee profiles:

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