FORT DODGE, IOWA- The Iowa Department of Transportation is considering using a new type of intersection across the state.

It’s called a Reduced Conflict Intersection. The first one was installed on Highway 20 just east of Fort Dodge after the owners of Marker 126 Travel Center requested a safer intersection at their proposed location..

Market 126 owner Kevin Stump event paid some funds to have the DOT install the intersection. Now that the business has been running a few months, Stump is looking for more people to understand how it works.

“So when come out of the travel center here you’re going to make a right turn on the four-lane 20 and head back to the west merge over into the left-hand lane and you’re going to make the U-turn come back into the eastbound lane,” said Stump, who uses a diagram of the intersection to explain it. “Merge back on Highway 20 and then right turn, you want to go south, or you can keep straight. Coming from the west, you want to come in the Travel Center, you’re just going to come right in the left-hand lane and just come right across your line of sight is really good for that westbound traffic coming.”

Stump said that since this is the first in Iowa, people need to understand how it works.

“I feel like they’re not grasping how the intersection works yet,” said Stump. “I mean is we’ve got a lot of signs out there, and  I get it, they want to try to get back four lane  20 as quick as you can so they want to cut across the intersection and not come in the way they’re supposed to.” 

The DOT is hoping this catches on, as it’s worked well in Minnesota for a number of years.

“The driver is only looking one direction at a time,” said Ben Adey, DOT District 1 North Area Engineer, covering Webster County. “It’s a good solution for reducing crashes without having to go to a full interchange.”