Letter: Sad fate for Highway 294
Once upon a time, Willmar had a state hospital, which later became the regional treatment center. State Highway 294 weaved through the property, and it met Highway 71-23 at both ends. With the opening of the 71-23 bypass, Highway 294 was supposedly extended onto the old highway, so it could meet 71-23 at the new location. Yet for some reason, the state never got around to posting any new highway markers.
Since the closing of the WRTC, Highway 294 was shortened by quite a lot. As of now, there are a grand total of three highway markers for Highway 294, all of them on southbound 71-23. There had been one more, showing where the highway ended at the junction of County Road 24. That sign was taken down when work on the intersection started, and was never replaced. There may be some people who are unaware that we even have a State Highway 294 in Willmar.
If we're going to have a state highway there, let's make it worth our while. At least extend it to the junction of Highway 23.