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Signals and gates to go up on Highway 28 railroad crossing

Minnesota Department of Transportation and Burlington Northern Santa Fe workers will begin installing crossing signals and gates on Highway 28, west of Morris, on March 17. Expect minor traffic delays, MnDOT says.

Crossing signals and gates will be installed on Highway 28 west of Morris next week.

Motorists traveling on Highway 28 may encounter minor delays on Wednesday, March 17, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., when the gates and signals are installed.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation and Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad will be working on the project and traffic control.

The road will be reduced to one lane where the railroad tracks intersect Highway 28 approximately one mile west of Morris.

Minnesota Department of Transportation flaggers will guide traffic through the railroad crossing while a Burlington Northern Santa Fe crew installs new signals and gates.

MnDOT and the railroad began discussing the project after two accidents -- one in 2005 and another in 2007 -- killed three people, left one paralyzed and injured a fifth person.

At one time, when plans were still moving ahead for an ethanol plant in Alberta, MnDOT, BNSF and the ethanol plant were discussing a three-way split of the costs for the crossing gates and signals. The crossing work was to be completed in fall 2008.

However, plans for the ethanol plant stalled and the project was delayed. Overhead street lights were installed at the crossing after the 2005 and 2007 accidents to help make trains more visible.