ROSEMOUNT, Minn. — On Highway 55 in Rosemount there are two kinds of traffic, industrial trucks, slow to start and stop, and commuters, quickly heading to work and back home.
Put them together and it's a dangerous combination.
"I know it's dangerous. Whenever I drive here, I’m extra cautious,” Rosemount Mayor Bill Droste says.
It’s a problem Droste inherited 17 years ago.
"It’s been on our radar since I've been mayor and there were plans to solve it even before that,” Droste says.
There have been numerous crashes at the intersection of Highway 55 and Doyle path over the years.
The Minnesota State Patrol says there have been four accidents in the last three years alone.
The most recent accident happened on Thursday morning when a six-car pileup involving a semi sent two people to the hospital.
And just a month and a half earlier, on Oct. 19, another crash involving a truck killed a couple from South Saint Paul.
“It’s such a tragedy for these people and their families and it’s very concerning,” Droste says.
It's a problem with a solution, Droste says.
Several years ago the city and Dakota County came up with a plan to move commuters onto Highways 52 and 42 where there aren’t as many trucks.
"With that plan a full interchange would be built at 42 and 52,” Droste says.
That idea has been floating around for years, he says, but with a $40 million price tag, it’s been a tough sell.
"It's decisions by MnDOT, and funding by MnDOT,” Droste explains.
Right now MnDOT says there are no plans to build a full interchange.
Dakota County made some minor upgrades two years ago that Droste says are helping some, but to really save lives he says much more needs to be done.
"It is disappointing as mayor that you know this high traffic area is here, but it’s a funding issue. Money is always tight in the metro and priorities get re-prioritized every year.”