WILLMAR — Building on their success last year to lobby the Minnesota Legislature for money to build two four-lane gaps between Willmar and Interstate 94, the Highway 23 Coalition has set new legislative goals for 2019.
The board of directors for the coalition, which is a public-private partnership with more than 100 members that promotes infrastructure improvements on Highway 23, recently identified support for four projects on the Highway 23 corridor.
The projects include:
- Construction of a roundabout in Foley at the intersection of Highway 23 and Eighth Avenue, along with a Preferred Route Safety Study on Highway 23 from Foley to Milaca to find the best route for a four-lane road.
- Construction of an overpass on Kandiyohi County County Road 55 to connect to the new interchange at Highway 23 and County Road 5 in Willmar. 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 state Highway 7 in Clara City to determine safety enhancements. The board approved $5,000 toward the local match required by the Minnesota Department of Transportation for this study, with matching funds also coming from Chippewa County and Clara City.
- Construction of a four-lane extension of Highway 23 from Marshall to Green Valley. This 4½-mile-long project would continue the four-lane infrastructure on the Highway 23 Corridor and bring it closer to connecting to U.S. Highway 212, which is another interregional corridor.
The Highway 23 Coalition has also voiced support of an improved interchange project from I-94 to Highway 23 near St. Cloud. This project is currently scheduled for 2020 but may be moved to this year.