WILLMAR—The early arrival of winter, or at least a sneak peek of it, has caused a delay in the completion of the realignment of U.S. Highway 12 on the western edge of Willmar, a part of the Willmar Wye railroad bypass project. According to the weekly wye update released Monday by the Minnesota Department of Transportation District 8, the new Highway 12 probably won’t be open for traffic until mid-November. It had been hoped that portion of the project would be complete by the end of October. Read
WILLMAR—Progress continues to be made to construct the four-lane “gaps” on Minnesota Highway 23 between New London and Richmond ahead of the original schedule. Plans are on track to construct the south and north gaps in a three-year span, from 2022 through 2024, Jon Huseby, District 8 engineer, Minnesota Department of Transportation, told members of the Area Transportation Partnership Oct. 9. Read the full article by the West Central Tribune.
WILLMAR—Some familiar issues are emerging as the District 8 office of the Minnesota Department of Transportation looks at how to improve intermodal freight movement in the southwest counties of the state. Safety is chief among them: The district has a high rate of severe accidents at its high-traffic intersections, Lindsey Bruer, planning director for District 8, told members of the district’s Area Transportation Partnership at its Oct. 9 meeting. She said the crash record was consistently
WILLMAR—As warmer weather returns, the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Hoffmann Group, contractor for the project, are getting ready to restart work on the Willmar Wye railroad bypass project on the west side of Willmar. According to a project update from MnDOT, crews will begin construction next week on the new U.S. Highway 12 bridge, which will go over the rail line to be constructed by BNSF Railway. Also next week, grading will be prepared for sidewalk and median concrete at the
Clara City promotes itself as the “Crossroads on the Prairie,” but there is a downside to the meeting of state Highways 23 and 7 at the south end of the community. Traffic accidents at the intersection of the two highways have long been a concern for emergency responders and law enforcement. At the urging of elected officials in Clara City, Chippewa County, and the Highway 23 Coalition, the Minnesota Department of Transportation is looking for ways to make the intersection a safer one.
SPICER—It may seem logical that a business that sells electricity should have a vehicle that runs on electricity. That’s one reason why the Kandiyohi Power Cooperative began leasing a 2019 Tesla Model 3 this fall. The co-op didn’t want to just “talk the talk but walk the walk,” said Dan Tepfer, energy management specialist with the co-op. The white, four-door sedan has wrap-around advertising letting people know the car is powered “100%” by electricity. With the rise in popularity of
Semitractor-trailers and other commercial vehicles keep the economy in west central Minnesota moving, transporting everything from building materials and groceries to corn and livestock. However, those trucks can’t drive themselves, leading to a huge need for drivers with Class A and B commercial driver’s licenses. “It is really the backbone of the economy out here,” said Jason Duininck, vice president of business development for Duininck Inc. As a construction company, Duininck
An open house hosted Wednesday by Kandiyohi County Public Works gave the public a chance to ask questions and learn more about the county’s plans for realigning its highway network at the south end of the railroad bypass corridor. Jeremy Pfeifer, an engineer with Kandiyohi County Public Works, explains pending changes in the Kandiyohi County highway network at the south end of the railroad bypass corridor west of Willmar. Maps, drawings and aerial footage shot from a drone were on
The Minnesota Department of Transportation issued a project update this week on the construction of the Willmar Wye Rail Connector and Industrial Park Access Project. The project to create a railroad bypass west of Willmar includes the realignment of U.S. Highway 12, reconstruction of state Highway 40, and new bridges that will carry motor vehicle traffic over the top of the rail line to be constructed in 2021-22. Dirt work started in July, including the grading of a portion of the new U.S. Highway
WILLMAR — At the end of the old Willmar Municipal Airport runway Tuesday afternoon, golden shovels manned by federal, state and local dignitaries dug out the first few piles of dirt in the Willmar Wye railroad project. “It has been a long journey for many of us and we have accomplished a lot of things with it already,” said Jon Huseby, Minnesota Department of Transportation district engineer for District 8, based in Willmar. The Willmar Rail Connector and Industrial Access Project,