Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Willmar Rail Connector & Industrial Access Project

Willmar Wye

Orange barrels on a highway

Alternative Technical Concept


The Alternative Technical Concept (ATC) process is most commonly used with a design-build process, such as the Willmar Wye project. MnDOT issued an RFP which contained basic construction criteria. Design-build teams submit ATCs based on their expertise. MnDOT reviewed the submissions and approved concepts. If the concept is acceptable, the design-build team may incorporate the concept in its technical and price proposal. This process allows contractors to submit innovative concepts and solutions. The ATC approach is meant to increase the value of the project to the public.

map of proposed intersection improvemendts

Intersection improvements

Two alternative technical concepts from The Hoffman Team were approved as part of the Willmar Wye RFP process. The Hoffman Team was selected as the contractor and proposed the construction of two single lane roundabouts; one at the intersection of Highway 12 and Kandiyohi CR 5 and one at the future intersection of Highway 12 and First Avenue.

Originally, a stop light was included in the design for the intersection of Highway 12 and Kandiyohi CR 5. A stop was included in the design of the future intersection of Highway 12 and First Avenue (photo above).

The purpose of constructing roundabouts is to increase the safety of the traveling public and to improve the function of the intersections. Due to the high speed limit along the corridor and the existing and future traffic levels, The Hoffman Team felt that roundabouts would be a natural fit for both intersections.

The City of Willmar and Kandiyohi County formally approved the proposed intersection improvements at their May meetings and the roundabouts are now part of the final design.

Benefits of roundabouts

Studies and research have shown that roundabouts are a safer intersection alternative, in comparison to signals. Roundabouts decrease the number of overall crashes and decrease the number of high severity crashes.

In addition to safety benefits, roundabouts are proven to reduce delays and promote a continuous flow of traffic. Roundabouts make it easier for vehicles to enter and cross a high-speed roadway.