Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News Release

Sept. 4, 2019

Detour of County Road 5 for Willmar Wye project begins Sept. 5

WILLMAR, Minn. – A detour of County Road 5 in Willmar goes into effect on September 5, 2019, as the Willmar Rail Connector & Industrial Access project, also known as the Willmar Wye, begins construction of a single-lane roundabout at County Road 5 and its future intersection with U.S. Highway 12. Traffic will be routed on Willmar Avenue, Industrial Drive and U.S. Highway 12 through mid-November 2019.

To minimize disruption for motorists, the detour is going into effect at the same time Kandiyohi County removes the detour used for their recently completed roundabout project at County Roads 15 and 5.

Highway 40 in Willmar is also detoured as part of the project, with traffic being routed on County Road 7 and U.S. Highway 12 through June 2020.

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 U.S. Highway 12 and the reconstruction of Highway 40, including two new bridges, and the construction of two single-lane 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 mndot.gov/d8/projects/willmarwye.

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