Willmar Wye road contractor selected

File photo/ Tribune The Willmar Wye project has been delayed while the master agreement remains in negotiations. The project will allow trains to travel between the Marshall and Morris subdivision without having to come into downtown Willmar and change engines. This should reduce traffic disruptions and train noise.

WILLMAR — Out of three contractor finalists for the road portion of the Willmar Rail Connector and Industrial Access Project, also known as the Willmar Wye, The Hoffman Team was selected as the best value proposal, according to a news release from the Minnesota Department of Transportation, District 8.

The decision was made following the bid opening on Wednesday.

The Hoffman Team is made up of Hoffman Construction Company, Lunda Construction Company and Bolton & Menk Inc. The group will both design and construct the roads and bridges that are part of the project. BNSF Railway will construct the rail portion of the project.

The official awarding of the project could take another six to eight weeks, the news release said. The parties involved in the project are also still working on finalizing the master agreement. The contract could be awarded in mid-to-late November, with construction to start in spring 2019.

The Willmar Wye — an approximately $47 million project overall — is the construction of a direct rail connection between the Marshall and Morris subdivisions of the BNSF Railway network. This will allow trains to travel between the different tracks without having to switch engines around in Willmar, reducing train traffic and noise in town. Also part of the overall project is the re-routing of U.S. Highway 12 to the south and a rail spur into the Willmar Industrial Park.

The Willmar Wye is a public-private partnership between BNSF, the city of Willmar, Kandiyohi County, MnDOT and the county and city Economic Development Commission.

Article written by Shelby Lindrud for the West Central Tribune.

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