Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News Release

April 11, 2019

MnDOT District 8 announces the advancement of Hwy 23 South Gap construction date

WILLMAR, Minn. — District 8 is pleased to announce that it is advancing the start of construction on the Hwy 23 South Gap project. Construction of the Hwy 23 South Gap will now begin in 2023 and will take two construction seasons. The advancement is possible due to recent legislation which gives MnDOT the opportunity to secure funding for the project earlier than originally approved.

In May of 2018, the Minnesota Legislature passed a bonding bill which included $105 million dollars in funding for the Hwy 23 gaps projects. 

The two locations of the Hwy 23 Gaps are on Hwy 23 from Paynesville to Richmond (North Gap) and New London to Paynesville (South Gap). The projects will improve roadway capacity, travel times and interstate access to west central and southwest Minnesota residents and businesses.

Construction of the North Gap will begin first in 2022 and will take two construction seasons to finish. MnDOT District 8 (Willmar office) is the lead on both projects. 

There is much work to be done to get the South Gap project ready for a 2023 construction start. Four years of construction is being compressed into three years. Staff are working on design of the roadway, acquiring right-of-way (land for the road expansion) and securing utility and environmental permits. 

In 2013, the Minnesota Legislature created the Corridors of Commerce program to provide additional highway capacity on segments where there are currently bottlenecks in the system and to improve the movement of freight and reduce barriers to commerce. For more information on the Corridors of Commerce program please visit www.dot.state.mn.us/corridorsofcommerce/.

Information on the Hwy 23 Gap projects can be found at mndot.gov/d8/projects/hwy23gaps.

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