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Carlton getting J-turn near proposed justice center

The upcoming configuration of Highway 210 and County Road 61 will be aimed at preventing T-bone crashes.

Carlton County Justice Center 2.jpg
Gary Meader / Duluth News Tribune

A major connector to the upcoming new justice center in Carlton County will be upgraded thanks to state funding announced last week.

The intersection of Minnesota Highway 210 and County Road 61 in Carlton was the recipient of $400,000 in state funding. It'll be used as part of a $540,000 project to bring a "reduced conflict intersection," or J-turn, to the area located between Carlton and Cloquet, near Interstate 35.

"The project will improve safety and access to a commercial area, a transit garage on the Fond du lac Indian Reservation, and a new justice center located near the site," the Minnesota Department of Transportation said.

The project was part of $18 million in state grants, and will retain or help create an estimated 23 new jobs in the area, MnDOT said.

Design plans for a new 110,000-square-foot jail and justice center , containing both the county sheriff's and attorney's offices, are expected to be unveiled in January, with possible construction starting next summer. The cost of the new justice center is expected to fall between $66 million and $72 million.

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The center is planned to be located nearby existing county facilities on County Road 61.

A J-turn removes the opportunity for right‐angle crashes , the T-bone-style crash responsible for the greatest likelihood of serious injury or fatality.

The J-turn design prevents vehicles on the side road from making movements directly through the intersection or left turns.

Instead, a driver on the side road intending to make a through or left‐turn movement must make a right turn, proceed to a median U‐turn, and return to the main intersection to complete their movement.

The current roadway configuration features four lanes of Highway 210, requiring travelers to cross multiple lanes of traffic for some movements.

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