Rest area opens south of Owatonna

Published 6:54 pm Monday, September 4, 2017

The newly constructed Straight River Rest Area is open again for northbound Interstate 35 motorists about seven miles south of Owatonna, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

The rest area had been closed since November 2015 when the old building was demolished. Reconstruction of the new building and site began in 2016.

The new facility features LED lighting, prairie restoration plantings, increased truck parking, a leash-free fenced in pet walking area, an observation deck, family restroom facilities, a new playground and picnic facilities. The $4.98 million project was completed by prime contractor The Joseph Co. Inc. from Austin.

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The rest area is near a bridge replacement project on I-35 and Highway 14 south of Owatonna where 10 bridges are being replaced. Two additional bridges are being replaced on I-35 near the site, after they were damaged by a vehicle in the spring. Motorists interested in more information about the bridge project, may visit the MnDOT project website at and sign up for email updates on the project.