Minnesota Department of Transportation

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News releases

Nov. 1, 2022

Latest news releases

Hwy 23 will reopen from Paynesville to Richmond on Nov. 3

WILLMAR, Minn. – The Highway 23 Paynesville to Richmond detour will be removed and the road reopened by the end of the day on Thursday, Nov. 3. Reopening the road completes the first year of the two-year Highway 23 North Gap expansion project. The road is paved, signed, striped, and configured for two-lane head-to-head travel and traffic will use both old and new pavement.

The project will be suspended until road restrictions are lifted in spring 2023. The Highway 23 Paynesville to Richmond detour will then again be in place until November 2023 for the final year of construction. As part of the project, County Road 12 will also be detoured for two weeks in 2023. Work next year will focus on replacing two box culverts and completing the majority of eastbound alignment.

Highway 23 expansion projects

The North Gap project expands nine miles of Highway 23 to four lanes, from Paynesville to Richmond. Also, several intersections along Highway 23 will be reconfigured to improve sightlines, reduce potential crash points, and enhance safety.

The North Gap project is part of the three-year Highway 23 Gaps expansion project which received funding through the Corridors of Commerce program in May 2018. In addition to the North Gap, the South Gap expansion of Highway 23 to four lanes from New London to Paynesville is scheduled for construction from early 2023 through 2024. When the North Gap and South Gap sections are both complete, Highway 23 travelers will be able to experience continuous four-lane travel from Willmar to Foley. 

Project benefits and cost

Benefits of the project include improved traffic flow and freight movement, as well as overall corridor performance, capacity, and safety. Mathiowetz Construction is the contractor for the North Gap project, which will cost $41.75 million.

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