Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News Release

April 23, 2020

Latest news releases

Highway 23 Cottonwood to Granite Falls resurfacing project begins May 4

MnDOT to host an online open house through May 6

WILLMAR, Minn. —The Minnesota Department of Transportation will begin the Highway 23 Cottonwood to Granite Falls concrete resurfacing project on Monday, May 4. The project also includes upgrading the intersection of Highway 23 and U.S. Highway 212 in Granite Falls to make it more accessible for everyone.

Early next week, the contractor will install temporary signal poles at the intersection of Highway 23 and U.S. Highway 212 in Granite Falls. It will require drilling into the bedrock and inserting blasting charges. Safety experts will be on hand. Residents and businesses in the area may notice a small boom and the ground may shake within ten feet of the blast. Traffic will be stopped before the blasting takes place; the delay could last up to ten minutes.

Highway 23 from U.S. Highway 212 in Granite Falls to Highway 274 will be open at all times, however, it is part of the work zone. Alternate lane closures, flagging operations and short delays can be expected.

Beginning May 4, Highway 23 will be closed from Highway 274 through Cottonwood. Traffic will be detoured on Highway 274/Yellow Medicine County Road 6 and Yellow Medicine County Road 46/Lyon County Road 22 (detour map attached). Signs will be posted along the detour route directing travelers to Cottonwood and Hanley Falls. Most Highway 23 intersections will allow local traffic crossings until concrete pavement operations begin. Message boards in each city will notify travelers which crossing to use. In addition:

  • In Cottonwood, County Road 9 or County Road 10 will always be open
  • In Hanley Falls, County Road 2 or County Road 18 will always be open
  • The intersection of Highway 23 and Highway 67 will remain open at all times

The Highway 23 resurfacing project includes:

  • 17.5 miles of concrete resurfacing with asphalt paved shoulders
  • New signal system, sidewalks and pedestrian crossings at Highway 23 and U.S. Highway 212
  • Realignment of Lyon County Road 9 in Cottonwood
  • Addition of multiple left-turn lanes and right-turn lane extensions
  • Box culvert upgrades and installations

Benefits of the project include a smoother road surface, wider paved shoulders, improved drainage, better traffic flow and enhanced safety, and upgraded sidewalks and pedestrian crossings.

The project is estimated to cost $37.1 million and to be complete by Oct. 31, 2020. Please note that the start and end dates could change due to unforeseeable circumstances, and that all traffic impacts may not be known at this time. The contractor is Duininck, Inc., of Prinsburg, Minn.

For more information, and to view a virtual open house of the project (available April 23 – May 6), visit mndot.gov/d8/projects/hwy23cottonwoodtogranite.

MnDOT road work has been identified as a critical service in Governor Tim Walz’s Stay at Home executive order. MnDOT is being as flexible as possible with schedules during this period of lower traffic volumes to keep projects moving forward and minimize the impact to motorists. Following guidance from state and federal health officials, and to prevent further spread of COVID-19, crews will maintain social distancing practices while working.

Watch for orange cones

Motorists may encounter lane closures or lane shifts, uneven road surfaces, heavy equipment and other unexpected obstacles when driving near or through work zones.

MnDOT advises motorists to: 

  • Slow down when approaching every work zone, then navigate through with care and caution
  • Stay alert; work zones constantly change
  • Watch for workers and slow moving equipment
  • Obey posted speed limits; fine for a work zone violation is $300
  • Minimize distractions behind the wheel
  • Be patient; expect delays, especially during peak travel times

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