Leaders meet about road improvements

Local leaders discuss transportation and road improvements with Rep. Ernie Leidiger. From left: Carver County Commissioner Randy Maluchnik, Granite Falls Mayor Dave Smiglewski, Carver County Community Development Agency Commissioner Darrell Sudheimer, Waconia City Council Member Jim Sanborn, Norwood Young America Mayor Tina Diedrick, Carver County Engineer Lyndon Robjent, Southwest Corridor Transportation Coalition President Bob Lindall, and Waconia City Engineer Kreg Schmidt. (Photo courtesy of Minnesota House of Representatives Photography)

Local leaders discuss transportation and road improvements with Rep. Ernie Leidiger. From left: Carver County Commissioner Randy Maluchnik, Granite Falls Mayor Dave Smiglewski, Carver County Community Development Agency Commissioner Darrell Sudheimer, Waconia City Council Member Jim Sanborn, Norwood Young America Mayor Tina Diedrick, Carver County Engineer Lyndon Robjent, Southwest Corridor Transportation Coalition President Bob Lindall, and Waconia City Engineer Kreg Schmidt. (Photo courtesy of Minnesota House of Representatives Photography)

State Representative Ernie Leidiger, R-Mayer, recently met with Carver County civic leaders to discuss local transportation and road improvements as part of the Minnesota Transportation Alliance’s Day on the Hill.

As a result of their discussion, Leidiger will author legislation to fund three critical infrastructure projects on U.S. Highway 212 and State Highway 5:

• Widen sections of Highway 212 from two to four lanes in order to reduce bottleneck congestion.

• Construct a pedestrian bridge over Highway 212 near Norwood Young America to make it safer for students who walk to school.

• Divide Highway 5 near the hospital in Waconia by creating a center median and adding a stop light in order to better control traffic.

“Our district has been very fortunate in recent years to experience high levels of job creation and economic expansion, all due in part to Highway 212 and Highway 5, which act as main arteries connecting Greater Minnesota to the Twin Cities,” Leidiger said. “As our county grows — with people, business and through-traffic — our transportation needs must be met to accommodate these large-scale changes. It is my goal with these bills to help improve the safety, order and rate of traffic in Carver County.”

Leidiger will request existing state General Fund dollars for the projects as part of an omnibus transportation funding bill to be drafted this spring. The bills will total $10 million, $2 million and $10 million, respectively.

“Transportation is one of the few issues we deal with at the Legislature that is actually mentioned in the State Constitution. Infrastructure projects like these that will benefit the economy and the lives of Minnesotans are absolutely essential, and I look forward to helping them move forward,” Leidiger said.

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