Bill Enacted to Fix Highway 23 Holdup

Cold Spring Record / March 12, 2019

St. Paul — a bill has been enacted which provides $105 million to make Highway 23 a continuous four-lane road between St. Cloud and Willmar, closing two gaps between the cities.

​The Corridors of Commerce project initially was approved during the 2018 session and was to be financed by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources bonds. Construction has been delayed as a result of bill language issues the new legislation (H.F. 80) rectifies by sourcing traditional general obligation bonds.

​First-term Rep. Lisa Demuth-R, Cold Spring, was not yet a member of the House when the 2018 legislation was approved, but said she was pleased to be part of putting forwards a solution this year.

​”Highway 23 is such an important roadway for not only the citizens who live here, but also for freight haulers, people traveling through the area for recreational purposes;oses and others,” Demuth said. “These bottlenecks on 23 have caused headaches for travelers and pose serious safety threats. I am happy we were able to move forward and make this technical fix so we can finally start moving dirt on this project.” 

​The Minnesota Department of Transportation indicates all but 15 of the 53 miles Highway 23 stretches between St. Cloud and Willmar have been constricted as a four lanes. The two exceptions are where the road shrinks to two lanes between New London and Paynesville, and between Paynesville and Richmond,

​The House and Senate both approved the new language Monday and Gov. Tim Walz enacted it Tuesday. 

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