Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News Release

May 22, 2019

Open House for Willmar Wye project is May 30

WILLMAR, Minn. — The public is invited to attend a Minnesota Department of Transportation open house on Thursday, May 30, 2019, to learn about the Willmar Rail Connector & Industrial Access project, also known as the Willmar Wye. The open house will be held at the MnDOT Conference Center (2505 Transportation Rd.) in Willmar and run from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m.

Representatives from MnDOT, Kandiyohi County, and the construction contractor will be available to answer questions about the road construction phase of the project, including the timeline.

The project includes the realignment of U.S. Hwy 12, the construction of two single-lane roundabouts, and the reconstruction of Hwy 40, including two new bridges. One roundabout will be constructed at the intersection of U.S. Hwy 12 and Kandiyohi County Road 5, and the second roundabout will be constructed at the future intersection of U.S. Hwy 12 and First Avenue.

U.S. Hwy 12 will remain open during 2019 construction. Detours will be required for the reconstruction of Hwy 40, and during roundabout construction. Detour information will be available at the open house.

The Willmar Wye is a public-private partnership between Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Kandiyohi County, and the City of Willmar, to build a new rail line bypass on the west side of Willmar. The rail line bypass will provide a direct connection between the Marshall and Morris Subdivisions of the BNSF freight rail network as well as freight rail access to the City of Willmar’s industrial park.

Benefits of the project include:

  • Improved safety for travelers by reducing at-grade crossing exposure
  • Increased multi-modal opportunities for shippers
  • Economic growth possibilities
  • Improved quality of life
  • Reduced wait times for railroad crossings to clear
  • Fewer trains and reduced noise in downtown Willmar

Road construction is scheduled to begin late-June. The Hoffman Team is the contractor on the project. Major participants of the team include Hoffman Construction Company, Lunda Construction Company, and Bolton & Menk, Inc.

For more information, visit the project webpage at www.mndot.gov/d8/projects/willmarwye.

Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/groups/MnDOTsouthwest.