MnDOT to remove trees along dangerous stretch of Hwy. 12 dubbed 'Corridor of Death'

MnDOT contractors are removing trees along a particularly dangerous stretch of Hwy. 12 known as the “Corridor of Death.”  

West Hennepin Public Safety announced Thursday that crews will be along the highway in Orono, Maple Plain and Independence between Monday and Friday next week to remove trees on state property.

Officials say the tree removal will allow sunlight to more easily melt ice and snow off the road, and it will reduce the severity of crashes where vehicles leave the roadway.

In 2019, MnDOT crews installed center lane markers and ice warning signs along the highway as a way to improve safety.

Legislators previously toured the area after a rash of fatal crashes on Hwy. 12. Among them was Rep. Dean Phillips.

“Darn right we shouldn’t have a corridor nicknamed the Corridor of Death," said Phillips in Nov. 2019. "And if we do, we’ve got to do something about it."

Crews will be working on the road between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday next week.

The shoulders of the highway may be closed during non-peak times so workers can finish the tree removals. The work is expected to be done by Friday, March 6.