Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News Release

July 1, 2019

Groundbreaking ceremony for Willmar Wye project is July 9

WILLMAR, Minn. — The partners of the Willmar Rail Connector & Industrial Access project are hosting a groundbreaking ceremony on July 9, 2019, at 2:30 p.m. The ceremony will take place at the former Willmar Airport site near County Road 5 and Trott Avenue Southwest. Access to the ceremony will be from County Road 5 with signage directing the way. The public is invited to attend the event.

The project, also known as 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 Hwy 12, the reconstruction of Hwy 40, including two new bridges, as well as the construction of two new 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 www.mndot.gov/d8/projects/willmarwye.

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