Concrete median to be installed on deadly stretch of Hwy 12

Three and a half miles of Highway 12, also known as the “corridor of death,” will be closed for three weeks starting Monday while the Minnesota Department of Transportation installs a concrete median to help with traffic safety.

MNDOT will install the media from Wayzata to Orono – one of the deadliest stretches of the highway.

Safety improvements on the road cannot come soon enough. Another crash occurred on Highway 12 on Monday between Independence and Delano. A 26-year-old man turning left pulled right into a 66-year-old woman and her 90-year-old mother.

West Hennepin Public Safety director Gary Kroells said this time, unlike so many others, the injuries appear minor because the man’s car had slowed to turn.

“'ve been to many [crashes] that have been fatal and today was another example of the close calls,” Krollers said. “A fraction of an inch and this is a fatal crash.”

The median installation on the east end of the so-called "corridor of death" is a good start to fixing the many problems along Highway 12, but it is only a start. A median is not as feasible as you go further west because of the towns and intersections.

“if you look throughout the state of Minnesota, you do not see a lot of medians and dividers on two-lane roads,” Kroells said.

Kroells spent a lot of time at the capitol pushing for money for Highway 12 and is happy to see the median because it will save lives. But, it is only a small start to solving a huge problem..

“We need to find the funding to fix the long term solution,” Kroells said. “The long term solution in my opinion is a four-lane highway.

The construction on the new median is expected to last three weeks.