The Minnesota Department of Transportation has closed Highway 12 between Orono and Independence for 4 months due to a $22 million highway improvement project.

The project plans to reduce crashes and improve safety within the Highway 12 corridor. Fatal crashes along the 38-mile stretch of highway led the Highway 12 Safety Coalition to push for added safety on this portion of the road. During the closure, crews will be making safety improvements to the highway which has been dubbed the “Corridor of Death.”

Both directions of the highway closed to traffic on May 18 and will not reopen until September 17.

Vehicles are currently being detoured on County Road 6 and County Road 92, where five temporary stoplights have been added. 

The project will:

  • Add a center concrete barrier on Highway 12 between County Road 6 in Orono and Baker Park Road in Maple Plain in order to prevent head-on crashes.
  • Add a roundabout at the intersection of Highway 12 and County Road 90. 
  • Reconfigure County Road 90 to connect the lanes north and south of Highway 12.
  • Add access for pedestrians and bicyclists crossing Highway 12.
  • Add drainage ponds.
  • Add a 15-foot wide concrete median, and making the road wider. 
  • Improve the intersection at Highway 12 and County Road 92 with a roundabout and bridge (construction planned for 2021 and 2022.) 
  • Realign County Road 92 with a bridge over Highway 12 (construction planned for 2021 and 2022.)

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