US Route 212 was awarded $10 million on Sept. 15 from the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America federal funding account.
Route 212 is a major corridor that connects Southwest Minnesota and Twin Cities. The corridor spans 161 miles in Minnesota and connects 22,000 square miles of Minnesota and South Dakota.
The funds will be used to complete the last five miles of the corridor, acquiring right-of-way permits, soil connections, and landmark preservation.
With this $10 million grant, the total cost for this project reaches approximately $77 million.
The main goal of this makeover is to mitigate safety issues, overall traffic flow, and total time stuck in traffic.
According to a 2019 freight mobility and safety project report by Carver County, 72% of county residents who commute are stuck in traffic congestion.
The same study also reported that Route 212 negatively impacted 65 freight generators and resulted in a 17% increase in operational costs.
In the past five years, the DOT reports there have been three fatal crashes at a single intersection.
“Many crashes were freight-related or roadway departure crashes that could be avoided by the roadway expansion, addition of rumble strips and reduced conflict intersections,” DOT stated.
This project will implement many new safety features, including reduced conflict intersections, a grade-separating interchange, and a new bridge.
The bridge will be located near Bongards Dairy farm.
“Bongards is a large dairy. They have lots of trucks going in and out,” Gayle Degler, commissioner of Carver County said.
“You don’t want to cross a four-lane highway with a combine,” he said. “So we’re making a bridge to make it a lot safer for agricultural vehicles and agricultural equipment,” he added, saying the project is “going to make it safer for everybody.”
This additional $10 million grant for Minnesota will hopefully give the crew what they need to complete the project. Since it’s a major freight road, one could imagine loads of construction make the corridor even busier.
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