Improvement Project Summary
MnDOT is making several roadway and safety improvements along US 71 in Willmar. The map summarizes each of the projects, which are detailed separately below. This summer, much of US 71, from 23rd St N to the Us 71/Hwy 23 split will be within the work zone. Click here to view a project summary (PDF).
- A detour will be in place for the concrete repair work.
- A detour will be in place to complete a portion of the J-turn project.
- Roads along the project route, from CR 24 (near the Kandiyohi Health and Human Services building) to the US 71/Hwy 23 split, will be closed at various times during the project.
- Neighborhoods with only one entry/exit (such as, north side of Point Lake) will always have access.
- CR 24 and CR 25 will not be closed at the same time.
Virtual open house
- A virtual open house for the US 71 project is open. Click here to visit the online open house.
Summary of work
Reduced conflict intersection (J-turn) at CR 90
- MnDOT received safety funding from the Highway Safety Improvement Program to build a J-turn at US 71 and CR 90. A J-turn at this location can address severe crashes by making it safer for vehicles to cross and merge by decreasing the number of lanes they need to cross at one time.
- In addition, a concrete walk will be constructed between the northbound and southbound lanes and a raise dmedian will separate eastbound and westbound lanes on CR 90 on both sides of the US 71/CR 90 intersection; however, no crossbars will be painted on the roadway.
- To learn how a J-turn works, visit MnDOT's Reduced Conflict Intersections web pages.
41st Avenue median construction
- The median at 41st Ave will be partially opened.
- Currently, this is a right-in/right-out intersection with no median crossover.
- Following construction, northbound traffic will be able to turn left from US 71 and go westbound on 41st Ave.
- Vehicles that are eastbound on 41st Ave will not be able to go northbound on US 71.
- A culvert will be installed at 48th Ave (entrance to Sunray Square Cafe & Deli) to improve drainage.
Safety improvements at CR 24
- A U-turn just north of the CR 24 J-turn will be paved, and a left-turn lane constructed to lead into the turn.
- Currently, it is a gravel U-turn used by emergency vehicles only.
- Once paved, the completed J-turn will allow northbound travelers to turn to the south. There will be no emergency vehicle restriction.
- In addition, a concrete walkway will be constructed between the northbound and southbound lanes to connect to the walking path on 23rd St NE to the east, and CR 24 to the west.
- Three miles of concrete pavement will be repaired - the southbound lane from Point Lake to the US 71/Hwy 23 split.
- Deteriorated concrete will be removed and replaced.
- The surface will be refinished using a process known as diamond grinding. Diamond grinding on concrete is like using sandpaper on wood in that it provides a smoother surface and a quieter ride.