Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Hwy 23 Passing Lanes

Interstate 90 to Willmar

Project complete


Passing lanes will be placed strategically along the Hwy 23 corridor, providing regular passing opportunities to provide the most benefit to manufacturers, commuters, agriculture and others that use the highway.

The 2013 Minnesota Legislature created the Corridors of Commerce program by authorizing the sale of up to $300 million in new bonds for the construction, reconstruction and improvement of trunk highways (2013 Session Law, Chapter 117, DOC 0.5 MB). The legislation establishes two major goals:

  • To provide additional highway capacity on segments where there are currently bottlenecks in the system,
  • and, to improve the movement of freight and reduce barriers to commerce.

This Corridors of Commerce project list includes the construction of passing lanes at various locations along the Hwy 23 corridor between I-90 and Willmar. Locally and regionally, the Hwy 23 corridor serves as a major connection for area residents, employment and service centers, as well as serving as a key recreational and tourist access route. Hwy 23 also connects many cities including Pipestone, Marshall, Granite Falls, Willmar and St. Cloud. It is also an important freight route and was mentioned as a critical connection for delivering goods to national and international markets in the recently completed District 8 Manufacturer’s Perspective on Minnesota’s Transportation System study. The report will be made available for review in early July.


  • Findings of Fact & Conclusion and Negative Declaration now available for this project.
    • On June 1, 2015, MnDOT concluded that an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is not required for this project and as a result has issued a Negative Declaration Order. The Negative Declaration concludes the Minnesota State Environmental Review process.
    • The Environmental Assessment Worksheet (PDF) has recently been completed. The worksheet examines the purpose and need for the proposed improvements to Highway 23, along with the anticipated social, economic and environmental effects if the project is constructed.
    • Right-of-way acquisition and final design are being conducted through Spring 2016 with construction scheduled to begin in Summer 2016.

Estimated project cost

  • $10.9 million (total project cost)