Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News Release

July 18, 2019

Detour of Highway 40 in Willmar begins July 22

WILLMAR, Minn. – A detour of Highway 40 in Willmar goes into effect on July 22, 2019, as the Willmar Rail Connector & Industrial Access project, also known as the Willmar Wye, begins reconstruction work. Traffic will be routed on County Road 7 and U.S. Highway 12 through June 2020.

The Willmar Wye is a public-private partnership between the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Kandiyohi County, City of Willmar, Kandiyohi/Willmar Economic Development Commission, and BNSF Railway, to build a new rail line on the west side of Willmar. The additional rail line 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 U.S. Highway 12 and the reconstruction of Highway 40, including two new bridges, and the construction of two single-lane roundabouts. 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

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 mndot.gov/d8/projects/willmarwye.

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