Highway 212 is an important route that connects western Minnesota with the Twin Cities. Highway 212 runs over 138 miles from the South Dakota State Line to I-494, connecting the Twins Cities and the cities of Cologne, Norwood Young America, Glencoe, Hector, Bird Island, Olivia, Renville, Granite Falls, Montevideo and Dawson.
The eastern portion of the corridor in Carver County was improved to a four-lane controlled access freeway through Chaska in 2009. However, two unimproved sections remain between Carver and Cologne and between Cologne and Norwood Young America. In these two segments Hwy 212 is a rural two lane undivided highway with limited shoulders. The segments have high traffic with large volumes of freight moving from western Minnesota to river and rail terminals in the Shakopee/Savage area.
Traffic volumes for the corridor in year 2030 are forecasted to increase between 21,000 and 28,000 vehicles per day, or two to three times the existing traffic volumes, exceeding the capacity of the existing two-lane roadway.