Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Hwy 23 Gap

New London to Paynesville

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

Hwy 23 Construction Wetland mitigation, utility agreements, detour costs Environmental review, surveys, engineering, contract administration, etc. Right of Way Total Project Cost Estimate
New London to Paynesville $37M to $49M $2 to $2.5M $7M to $10M $4M to $6M $50M to $70M


Date Description
June 2016 MnDOT issues Findings of Fact and Conclusion document
May 17, 2016 Public Open House #5
November 2015-June 2016 Finalize environmental review and hold public hearing
Jan. 28, 2016 Public Open House #4
July 28, 2015 Public Open House #3
February-June 2015 Finalize preferred alternative
April 2015 Public Open House #2
January 2015 Public Open House #1
October 2014 - January 2015 Prepare and analyze alignment alternatives
Late Summer/Fall 2014 Gather data (surveys, field reviews, location studies, etc.)
August 2014 Begin environmental review


Map of gap area

MnDOT began the environmental review and layout development for the New London to Paynesville segment in the summer of 2014. Once the environmental review and layout is complete, right-of-way acquisition and detail design could begin as funds become available. Currently, there are no plans for constructing the four-lane because there is no funding available for the construction at this time.

The Hwy 23 Corridor extends across the state of Minnesota from I-90 to I-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.

Hwy 23 is also an important freight route. MnDOT 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.

The segment of Hwy 23 between Willmar and I-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 roadway are between New London and Paynesville, and between Paynesville and Richmond.