Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News Release

April 23, 2019

Boring operations begin for Willmar Wye project

WILLMAR, Minn. – Boring operations begin April 23, 2019, for the Willmar Rail Connector & Industrial Access project, also known as the Willmar Wye. Boring operations will examine soil conditions in the construction area.

Motorists traveling eastbound on U.S. Highway 12 will encounter a shoulder closure near 7th Avenue Northwest. Lane closures may occur on County Roads 5 and 55 along the construction route.

The Willmar Wye is a public-private partnership between Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF), the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Kandiyohi County, and the City of Willmar, to build a new rail line bypass on the west side of Willmar. The rail line bypass will provide a direct connection between the Marshall and Morris Subdivisions of the BNSF freight rail network as well as freight rail access to the City of Willmar’s industrial park. 

The project includes the realignment of Highway 12 and the reconstruction of Highway 40, including two new bridges. Benefits of the project include:

  • Improved safety for travelers by reducing at-grade crossing exposure
  • Increased multi-modal opportunities for shippers
  • Economic growth possibilities
  • Improved quality of life
  • Reduced wait times for railroad crossings to clear
  • Fewer trains and reduced noise in downtown Willmar

Construction is scheduled to begin as soon as the ground can be worked this spring. The Hoffman Team is the contractor on the project. Major participants of the team include Hoffman Construction Company, Lunda Construction Company, and Bolton & Menk, Inc.

For more information on the project visit the project webpage at www.mndot.gov/d8/projects/willmarwye.
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