The Highway 23 South Gap project from New London to Paynesville has made great progress in its first year (2023) of construction. The project's main goal is to expand Highway 23 from New London to Paynesville from a two lane highway into a four lane highway.
As anyone who's attempted to travel the Highway 23 corridor along that stretch has noticed, this construction season has been filled with detours and great progress. Per the Minnesota Department of Transportation website, the following detours were in place:
- 130th Ave. closes July 17 for two months.
- The Hwy 23 detour will be in place from May 1 - Oct. 27, 2023.
- Access to 219th Ave. is from 141st St. off CR 2.
- Work along Hwy 23 from New London to Hawick will be done under traffic.
As of September 29th, 2023, there have been a number of updates and progress made. Crews have finished with asphalt paving operations north of County Road 2 which will be follwed by shoulder work. Striping, signage and turf establishment will follow shoulder work north of County Road 2. South of County Road 2, crews are continuing with grading operations. The temporary detour to allow for installation of a temporary culvert has been removed as of October 4th, 2023.
There's Still Work to be Done
Highway 23 is the second largest state transportation system in the state of Minnesota traveling from Sioux Falls, South Dakota to Duluth, Minnesota and Superior, Wisconsin. As the majority of this route remains a 2-lane highway, the Highway 23 Coalition is focused on advocating for a 4-lane expansion throughout the corridor. This transportation system improvement will be essential in promoting safety, mobility and growth not only in the state of Minnesota but throughout the Midwest region.
The segment of Highway 23 between Willmar and Interstate 94 is a distance of approximately 53 miles. Of these 53 miles, all but 16 miles have been constructed as a four lane roadway but there is still more work to be done!
Once the work is completed between Willmar and St. Cloud, there is still more work to be done to allow for the entire Midwest region to benefit. The focus will remain on advocating for a 4-lane expansion throughout the entire Highway 23 corridor. Thank you for supporting the mission of a better transportation system in Minnesota.