Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Hwy 23 Gap

Paynesville to Richmond

Study complete

Important Note: On May 30, 2018 Governor Dayton signed the public works bill which funded three additional Corridors of Commerce projects, including the Highway 23 "Gap" from New London to Paynesville, to improve the state transportation system. District 8 is working through the information. It is our intent to keep partners and the public up to date. For more information please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions.


Estimated costs

Highway 23 Construction Wetland mitigation, utility agreements, detour costs Environmental review, surveys, engineering, contract administration, etc. Right of Way Total Project Cost Estimate
Paynesville to Richmond $49M to $65M $2M to $3.5M $10M to $13M $12M to $17M $74M to $98M


Date Description
Dec 2017 MnDOT issues Findings of Fact and Conclusion document
Nov 2017 Public Open House #5
Jan-Dec 2017 Finalize environmental review and hold public hearing
Jan 2017 Public Open House #4
May 2016 Public Open House #3
Feb-May 2016 Finalize preferred alternative
Dec 2015 Public Open House #2
Sept 2015 Public Open House #1
Sept-Dec 2015 Prepare & analyze alignment alternatives
Summer 2015 Gather data (surveys, field reviews, location studies, etc.)
June 2015 Begin environmental review


The Hwy 23 Corridor extends across the state of Minnesota from Interstate 90 to Interstate 35 and beyond. It connects many cities including Marshall, Granite Falls, Willmar and St. Cloud. Locally and regionally, Hwy 23 serves as a major connection between the area's residents, employment and service centers as well as a key recreational and tourist access route. Tourist travel along the corridor creates high seasonal and weekend traffic peaks. Under the Interregional Corridor classification system, Hwy 23 is classified as a Medium Priority Interregional Corridor.

The segment of Hwy 23 between Willmar and Interstate 94 is a distance of approximately 53 miles. Of those 53 miles, all but 15 miles have been constructed as a four lane roadway. The two gaps in the four lane are between New London and Paynesville (in MnDOT District 8), and between Paynesville and Richmond (in MnDOT District 3). See the New London to Paynesville gap.

Hwy 23 is also an important freight route. District 8 recently completed a Manufacturer's Perspective on Transportation Study that interviewed manufacturers and carriers in Southwest and West Central Minnesota to determine their most important transportation issues. Hwy 23 was frequently mentioned as a critical connection to deliver goods to national and international markets. View the Manufacturer’s Perspective on Transportation Study final report.