Deadly stretch of Hwy. 12 to close for repairs

Part of deadly Highway 12 will close for a few weeks so a median barrier can be installed.

Part of the notoriously deadly Highway 12 – which runs through the western Twin Cities suburbs – will be closing soon for repairs that will, hopefully, make the stretch safer.

The City of Mound, which is just west of Minnetonka, says starting Monday, Oct. 17, Highway 12 will be closed between Hennepin County Road 6 and Hennepin County Road 112 – through Long Lake and Orono.

During that time, the Minnesota Department of Transportation says motorists should use County Road 112 as a detour and plan ahead for delays.

A concrete median barrier will be installed on in that area for safety. MnDOT says it should help prevent cross-over crashes.

As far as when the work will be completed, no exact date has been given. However, it's expected to be finished by "late fall."

Other work

This is just part of a project to make Hwy. 12 a safer place to travel.

Recently, turn lanes were installed at the junctions of Highway 12 and County Road 92. That's to help separate left turning traffic from through traffic.

As far as costs, the turn lanes are about $900,000 and the median barrier is about $2.3 million.

A deadly stretch

Last November, safety officials from Hennepin and Wright counties joined together to create the Highway 12 Safety Coalition, and challenged motorists to go 12 months without a fatal crash on the 38-mile long highway.

Between 2010 and 2014, there were 811 crashes – 12 of which were fatal.

That gives the 38-mile stretch the highest fatal crash rate in the metro area, compared with similar highways, the Department of Public Safety reported last year.

There were 407 traffic fatalities on Minnesota roads last year, the Toward Zero Deaths website says. So far this year, there have been at 282.

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