October 02, 2018 10:24 PM
Improvements are coming to a highway with a dangerous reputation.
The 38-mile stretch of Highway 12 between Wayzata and Cokato has been a focus for the Highway 12 Safety Coalition because it's been the site of many crashes for years.
Driving along Highway 12 for Tina Langhans isn't the same.
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"I know I had tears driving down the road," said Tina Langhans, who lost her daughter to a crash along Highway 12.
But since her daughter Chelsea died in a crash along this stretch three years ago, she's been instrumental getting a new median barrier built from Wayzata to Long Lake.
"I was very happy, I wasn't ecstatic because it was still a sad thing that we had to have the wall," Langhans said.
But the work isn't done, and Tuesday night, a host of stakeholders introduced a $22 million plan to fix what many call a dangerous highway.
"Together our goal is to save lives," said Chief Gary Kroells, with West Hennepin Public Safety.
The proposed improvements include another concrete barrier near Maple Plain from County Road 6 to County Road 29, a roundabout at County Road 90 in Independence, and intersection fixes to reduce crashes at highway 92, just east of Delano.
"Right now we don't have any intersection control at those two intersections," Kroells said.
The only downside: work isn't expected to start until 2021.
"I don't know that we could get it any sooner than 2021, plus the funding is set aside for that timeframe, so I think the timing even though it seems long three years from now, I think that's probably what we need," Kroells said.
The Highway 12 Safety Coalition admits there's still more that needs to be done to reduce traffic deaths on this stretch of highway.
"I think there's still more work to be done, it's hard to say exactly but these are three good solutions," Kroells said.
Langhans agrees, as traffic gets worse, the work isn't over but she's proud they're doing something to save lives.
"I know I have helped other people and I know that's what my daughter would have wanted to do," Langhans said.
Some have asked whether there is a possibility to add lanes to make it 2 lanes in each direction on parts of Highway 12. The Safety Committee says it's not in the plans right now.
Updated: October 02, 2018 10:24 PM
Created: October 02, 2018 08:28 PM
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