On May 30th, Governor Dayton signed the bill approved by the Minnesota Legislature providing $105 million in Corridors of Commerce funding for both four-lane gaps on Highway 23 between Willmar and Interstate 94. The Highway 23 Coalition worked very hard to encourage passage and the signing of the bonding bill that included road funding and other important projects in this region. The Coalition, which now boasts 94 members including 64 businesses and 21 units of government, will continue to hold the State accountable to ensure the Hwy 23 projects are completed as promised.
Highway 23, Moving Foward
The MN Department of Transportation (MnDOT) is moving ahead with activities related to the two gaps. During September, MnDOT put out a Request for Proposal (RFP) to hire a consultant to provide engineering services (final design, public engagement and permitting) and deliverables for the nine-mile North Gap. In Mid-September, three engineering companies submitted their proposals. It will take several weeks to review the proposals after which a consultant will be selected. MnDOT will hopefully have a consultant on board by February of 2019. The agency will have to acquire land along the corridor to accommodate the two additional lanes and related stormwater features.