Bailey Hovland / February 13, 2019
Following the most recent Board of Directors meeting, the Coalition has identified their support for the following corridor project priorities in 2019:
- Construction of a roundabout in the City of Foley at the intersection of Highway 23 and 8th Avenue (near Foley Public Schools), along with the undertaking of a Preferred Route Safety Study that pertains to Highway 23 from Foley to Milaca and determines the best route for a four-lane road.
- Construction of an overpass on CSAH 55 that would connect to the new interchange at Highway 23 and County Road 5. This bridge over the BNSF railroad would tie into the new Willmar railroad Wye Project with a direct connection to the Willmar Industrial Park.
- Undertaking an Intersection Safety Study at Highway 23 and Highway 7 in Clara City. This study would determine what changes could be made to enhance safety at this intersection. The Coalition’s Board approved $5,000 toward the local match required by MnDOT. Chippewa County and the City, both members of the Coalition, would match the contribution.
- Construction of a four-lane extension of Highway 23 north from the City of Marshall to the City of Green Valley, a distance of 4.5 miles. This project would continue the four-lane infrastructure on the Highway 23 Corridor and bring it closer to connecting with Highway 212.
Additionally, the Highway 23 Coalition has voiced their support of an improved interchange project from I-94 to MN 23, an important safety project near Waite Park/St. Cloud. MnDOT District 3 is making efforts to move up this project from 2020 to this year. The Coalition appreciates all District 3’s diligence and work on advancing the timeline of this project.
During the last legislative session, the State of Minnesota approved Corridors of Commerce funding for the two four-lane gaps between Willmar and I-94. MnDOT District 8 is the lead entity for both gaps and is proceeding to develop and deliver those projects.
Recently District 8 hired Isthmus Engineering to provide transportation design services (final design, public engagement, permitting, etc.) for the northern gap. Land acquisition and right of way (ROW) activities will begin this year, and construction on the first gap is expected to begin in 2022.