Minnesota Department of Transportation

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News releases

July 9, 2024

Latest news releases

Traffic switch begins this week on the Hwy 23 South Gap project

WILLMAR, Minn. – Traffic on the Highway 23 South Gap project will be shifted to the new expansion lanes on July 11 or 12, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Traffic will be head-to-head with one lane in each direction from County Road 31 to County Road 2. Drivers are asked to be alert for left-turning traffic.
South Gap project update

  • Eastbound expansion lanes
  • Frontage roads near Long Lake

To be completed

  • Box culvert and pipework near County Road 2
  • DNR trail with pedestrian underpass
  • Resurface the original lanes which will become westbound traffic
  • County Road 2 connection to Highway 23
  • Permanent striping and signing
  • Turf establishment

If weather and other circumstances cooperate, the two-year project will reach substantial completion by Labor Day.

Highway 23 expansion projects
The South Gap project expands seven miles of Highway 23 to four lanes, from New London to Paynesville. The project includes safety enhancements at intersections along the corridor and a pedestrian underpass near Hawick.
The South 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 South Gap, the North Gap expansion of Highway 23 to four lanes from Paynesville to Richmond was completed in 2023. 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 St. Cloud and beyond.
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 South Gap project, and the cost is $34.5 million.