Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News Release

May 16, 2017

Willmar Wye receives Finding of No Significant Impact

WILLMAR, Minn. — MnDOT is pleased to announce that the Federal Rail Administration (FRA) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) signed the Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) document and the environmental portion of the Willmar Wye project is now complete.

MnDOT and its partners Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF), City of Willmar, Kandiyohi County and the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission plan to add a rail connect between two existing BNSF railway lines and modify surrounding roadways to better move freight through the city of Willmar.  The Willmar Rail Connector and Industrial Park Access Project (Willmar Wye) will provide a direct connection between the Marshall and Morris Subdivisions of the BNSF rail network.  Providing this direct connection will decrease the number of trains that need to pull into the rail yard in downtown Willmar.  The project also includes a rail spur that will provide access to the City of Willmar’s industrial park.

The FONSI is based on the Environmental Assessment/Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EA/EAW) which has been evaluated and determined to adequately discuss the need, environmental issues and impacts of the proposed project.

MnDOT and its partners completed the environmental process with the submittal of the EA/EAW in March 2017.  The environmental process consisted of several public open houses, public comment period, broad public engagement activities and a formal public hearing.  The FONSI completes the environmental requirements for the project.
Next steps include right-of-way acquisition, completion of agreements and permits, final design and construction of the roadways (Design-Build contracting process) and the roadway project bid date of December 13, 2017.  The EA/EAW, FONSI and detailed information on the project, including next steps, can be found at www.mndot.gov/d8/projects/willmarwye/.

For updated road condition information, call 511 or visit www.511mn.org.