Our work on Highway 212 is not yet complete. This major corridor remains an important farm-to-market route and a prime connection to and from Greater Minnesota – all across Minnesota to the border with South Dakota. Residents of Carver County have benefitted from the re- routing and construction of the new Highway 212 corridor 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 Carver County and along the entire Highway 212 corridor - extending beyond the Metropolitan region.
Currently, in Carver County we are seeing new data centers locate in our county, providing well-paying jobs that add real value to our 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.
Unfortunately, the state does not have enough highway funding to complete Highway 212 anytime in the next 20 years. We appreciate the support of local legislators who have introduced bills to direct some additional funding to Highway 212, but without new revenue to pay for trunk highway bonds, progress on this major commerce corridor will stop.
Safety should always be our top priority in Minnesota but we are failing that standard with this outdated, dangerous two-lane highway with more traffic than ever designed for the traveling public. This is a road with extensive freight truck traffic. The commercial haulers and traveling public deserve better. Highway 212 between Interstate 494 and Glencoe is the only high priority interregional corridor in Minnesota that still has segments that are just two lanes wide. It's time for that to change. It's time to build on the safety and capacity improvements we have already invested in as taxpayers and to get those two-lane segments of Highway 212 on either side of Cologne widened to four lanes. Those two-lane segments on this corridor hurt the function of the entire highway.
Fortunately not all is bleak for US Highway 212, thanks to strong support from members of our Congressional delegation including Senator Amy Klobuchar, Rep. Erik Paulsen, and Rep Colin Peterson. Senator Klobuchar's work, as part of the Transportation Appropriations bill, designated funding for further improvements to Highway 212. Representatives Paulsen and Peterson have been long-time champions for Highway 212 and we look forward to working with them to build on our hard-fought previous improvements.
Carver County looks forward to our continued partnership with Greater Minnesota and MnDOT. A true partnership that will ensure a safer future for everyone who drives on or whose livelihood depends on this vitally important highway. All of us need to remember that any funding for the expansion of U. S. Highway 212 not only serves the southwestern metropolitan area but also Greater Minnesota - all the way to South Dakota.