Officials look to overhead lighting as safety tool for intersection

Lights to be more recent piece in making intersection of highways 25 and 2 more prominent for drivers

Map of southern Crow Wing County.
The intersection of Highway 25 and Highway 2, on the bottom right side of the map, is about 10 miles south of Brainerd.
Google Maps

BRAINERD — Street lighting will be installed at an intersection south of Brainerd that has been the site of past fatalities, including a crash that claimed the life of a 17-year-old boy.

The intersection of Highway 25 and Highway 2 is about 10 miles south of Brainerd. The changes in lighting are aimed at improving safety. The Crow Wing County Board voted March 28 to work with the Minnesota Department of Transportation and take part of the costs for the street lighting. The county will own the lighting system and pay for monthly power costs and maintenance. The state will construct the lighting system and $1,359,050 of state funding was authorized for the project.

Commission Paul Koering asked for more detail on the project at the March 28 board meeting saying he had conversations some time ago to see if there was anything that could be done to make the intersection safer. Koering, visible on a large display speaking from Fort Myers, Florida, said the paved stretch of Highway 2 going west can be a straight stretch and if you start daydreaming all of a sudden there is the possibility of going through a stop sign.

Highway engineer Tim Bray said the agreement installs overhead lighting at the intersection. Bray said there were two fatalities in recent memory including the teenager from Onamia.

“And whenever that happens, we are always trying to find ways or maybe reasons for what happened,” Bray said.


Installing overhead lighting at the intersection was one of the options they discussed. While the fatal crashes weren’t at night, Bray said the overhead lighting helps change the environment along with installing bigger stop signs and rumble strips. The lighting system, which has been difficult to get in recent years, is the last piece of the plan to update the intersection.

“And so this is just the latest thing that we're installing there to help prevent this from happening again,” Bray said.

Koering said improvements were made progressively at this intersection.

Commissioner Steve Barrows asked if flashing stop lights or a flashing stop sign was considered as a potential solution.

Bray said those were discussed and they’ve tried to use those options sparingly.

“One of the things we try to do is increase the size of the stop sign first, put more stop signs up, put reflectors on the posts that are in the ground,” Bray said. “In the future, we may consider going to flashing stop signs. It's a progression of improving these intersections. Hopefully we don't need to get that far.”

In other business and recent action, the board:

Also approved an agreement with MnDOT for signal system changes at the intersection of Highway 371, County Highway 49 also known as Wise Road and Highway 77 also known as Pine Beach Road.


Noted staffing changes, Julie Bell, social worker in Community Services, left the county in March. New hires included Corinna Tomson, registered nurse for the jail starting in April and Nathan Eastwood, jail health technician, who started in late March.

Approved an off-site gambling permit for Confidence Learning Center, for June 21-24 at Brainerd International Raceway/Lakes Jam.

Renee Richardson, managing editor, may be reached at 218-855-5852 or Follow on Twitter at

Renee Richardson is managing editor at the Brainerd Dispatch. She joined the Brainerd Dispatch in 1996 after earning her bachelor's degree in mass communications at St. Cloud State University.
Renee Richardson can be reached at or by calling 218-855-5852 or follow her on Twitter @dispatchbizbuzz or Facebook.
What To Read Next
Get Local


Must Reads