If you’ve traveled on Highway 212 west of Chaska this year, you’ve probably noticed the massive undertaking of digging, hauling, scraping and leveling of the landscape to the north and south of the highway between Carver and Cologne.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation and Carver County are constructing about five miles of new road to expand Highway 212 from a two-lane to a four-lane highway.

This past spring, we broke ground on the first phase of long-awaited Highway 212 safety and capacity improvements that will better connect us to jobs, education, healthcare and to each other.

Highway 212 construction in Dahlgren Township is ahead of schedule and is anticipated to be completed in early fall 2022. By this time next year, it will be a much safer experience for people getting on, off, and across this stretch of Highway 212.

And we aren’t stopping there! The next four years will see a lot of change along Highway 212 from Carver to Norwood Young America. In 2023, MnDOT will be repairing and resurfacing some of the concrete pavement in Cologne and the bridges over the railroad east of Highway 36.

Then in 2024, Highway 212 construction between Cologne and Norwood Young America is expected to begin. This is the final segment of four-lane expansion between Glencoe and the Twin Cities. That in itself is an exciting milestone to hit, but more top-of-mind are the necessary safety improvements that this project will construct.

We continue to hear from Carver County residents about the serious safety concerns at intersections like Highway 212/51 near Bongards. This is what’s really driving these Highway 212 projects and the need to get them done as soon as possible — everyone should get home safe!

Just like with today’s work, the goal is to keep Highway 212 open during future construction to minimally disrupt your travels, which is a priority for all county highway projects.

Carver County has already secured funding for the Highway 212 improvements between Cologne and Norwood Young America through the State Legislature bonding bill and local transportation sales tax. Our highway and bridge projects are direct recipients of our local transportation sales tax, which means every Carver County resident contributes to better and safer roads.

While driving Highway 212 daily, I’m continually reminded of its importance to Carver County commuters, freight, agriculture, and places to the west and east.

As communities west of the Twin Cities grow and recruit new families and businesses, the demands for where we go and how to safely get there change, too.

Looking ahead, I’m enthusiastic about the next four years of growth and opportunity for our communities, starting with what’s to come on Highway 212. Please be patient with the process, slow down when needed and arrive safely!

Carver County Commissioner John P. Fahey represents District 5. He can be reached at jfahey@co.carver.mn.us or 612-849-6298.