Governor signs bonding bill…Highway 23 Project funded

Hwy 23 Coalition D.C. Trip - Group Photo Sen. Tina Smith 5.23.18

(Willmar MN-) Members of The Highway 23 Coalition are celebrating now that Governor Dayton has signed The Bonding Bill with $105 million dollars included to fund the completion of the four-lane gaps between New London and Paynesville, and Paynesville and Richmond. Things looked glum for the project after it was shunned by MnDot in the Corridors of Commerce program, but it was resurrected when fishing guide Kelly Morrell asked Governor Dayton and legislative leaders to fund Highway 23 during The Governor’s Fishing Opener on Green Lake May 12th, and they agreed. Highway 23 Coalition Secretary-Treasurer Aaron Backman says the money was added to the Corridors of Commerce Program and will go to three projects including Highway 23…

…Jason Duininck, Chair of the Highway 23 Coalition’s Legislative Committee says “The Coalition is pleased with this announcement. This is great news for the 1,100+ transportation-related businesses along this critical corridor connecting Greater Minnesota from Duluth to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The 90 members of the Coalition have dedicated many resources, time and effort to move this project forward. We are happy that Governor Dayton and the Minnesota Legislature recognized the need, supported this project and provided MnDOT with the direction and the means to complete it.” Highway 23 previously received over $2.3 million in Corridors of Commerce funding for environmental assessments for both gaps. Last week several members of The Highway 23 Coalition went to Washington DC to ask that Highway 23 be designated a Critical Freight Corridor, which Backman says will make them eligible for additional funding…
…The Highway 23 Project will take place over the next four years.

Coalition officials say by completing a continuous four-lane highway between Willmar and I-94, this investment by the State of Minnesota provides additional opportunities to attract business development, expand the tax base, initiate job growth and reduce freight shipping costs throughout Greater Minnesota.


Source: JP Cola for Lakeland Broadcasting on May 30th, 2018.

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