A way to improve traffic congestion could be coming to the Highway 15 and 2nd Street interchange in St. Cloud.  Stearns County Commissioner Joe Perske, who is also on the the highway 23 coalition, explained they are looking at improving the interchange by adding what he calls an enhanced right lane.  He explains this in the following way,  instead of having the ability to make those left hand turns drivers would instead make right hand turns go on an overpass to come to the other side.  This would eliminate cross traffic on left hand turns.  Perske says this would allow traffic on Highway 15 to move more freely through that heavily congested area.  The estimated cost for this project would be $80 to $100 Million dollars according to Perske.

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Could Highway 15 ever see 4 lane traffic south of Luxemburg?  I asked Perske this question and he says that this is still a long term plan they would like to see happen but it is considered a low priority right now.  He says with the traffic they consistently see on highway south of St. Cloud an extension could increase safety.  He highlighted the smaller shoulders and numerous stop signs that intersect Highway 15 south of St. Cloud as safety hazards.

Highway 23 has seen many conversions from 2 lanes to 4 lanes both southwest and northeast of St. Cloud.  Perske says 4-lane from Foley to Milaca is on hold for at least 12 to 15 years after the road improvements made to the 2-lane version of Highway 23 that currently goes through Foley that was worked on last spring.

If you'd like to listen to my conversation with Commissioner Perske it is available below.



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