Residents and businesses in Carver County have benefitted immensely from the construction of the new Highway 212 out to the City of Carver. As anticipated, the expansion of this critical corridor has not only improved the safety and timeliness of commutes, it has led to job creation and economic growth in our county and the region.
We’re continuing to see new data centers locate in our county, providing well-paying jobs that add real value to the community. The latest development from Stream Data Centers will be located northwest of the Highway 212 and Engler Boulevard interchange in Chaska, joining the UnitedHealth Group facility that was completed in 2012. Let’s not forget the recent opening of a Fleet Farm store that will serve as the anchor of what will be a major retail district serving the region at the Highway 212 and County Road 11 intersection.
Safety is always our top priority on Minnesota roadways. The new Highway 212 to Carver has clearly led to fewer accidents and fatalities compared to the old highway. The once outdated, dangerous two-lane Highway 212 had more traffic than ever designed for safe travel of our families and commercial vehicles.
Our work on Highway 212 is not yet complete. This major corridor remains an important farm-to-market route and a prime connection to Greater Minnesota – all the way out the border with South Dakota. There are still two segments of Highway 212 in Carver County that need to be completed to four lanes. This situation causes the dangerous hour glass effect when the road goes from four lanes to two lanes.
This is on a road with extensive freight truck traffic. The commercial haulers and traveling public deserve better. It’s time for the only two-lane high priority interregional corridor to be finished, building on the safety and capacity improvements we have already invested in. Leaving these two segments undone hurts the function of the entire highway.
Fortunately work is continuing on US Highway 212 thanks to strong support from members of our Congressional delegation including Senator Amy Klobuchar and Rep. Erik Paulsen. Senator Klobuchar’s work, as part of the Transportation Appropriations bill, designated funding for further improvements to Highway 212.
Rep. Paulsen has been a long-time champion for Highway 212 and we look forward to working with him to build on previous improvements. Our state legislators and civic leaders from Carver County have always and continue to be helpful in this large undertaking.
Carver County looks forward to our continued partnership with MnDOT. With the latest funding from MnDOT, Carver County has accepted the role of leading the further engineering and interim work that will ensure a safer future for everyone who drives on this highway. It is important to remember that the funding for the expansion of Highway 212 not only serves the southwestern metropolitan area but also Greater Minnesota all the way to South Dakota.
Randy Maluchnik currently serves as the Carver County Commissioner for District 3.