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Open house set July 1 for Highway 12 project in east Willmar

WILLMAR — An open house will be conducted July 1 to present details about the U.S. Highway 12 reconstruction project that is scheduled to begin July 7 in east Willmar.

The public meeting will be from 4:30 to 6 p.m. July 1 at the Minnesota Department of Transportation District 8 headquarters building, 2505 Transportation Road in Willmar, where details about the five-month-long construction project and detour will be presented.

Estimated at $3 million, the two-stage project involves a one-mile stretch of Highway 12 that spans the Highway 71/23 bypass bridge in Willmar.

Work is expected to be completed in November.

The eastern portion of the project, which includes a detour to allow crews to remove and replace an entire section of pavement, will end one-half mile east of the bypass.

 The western edge of the project will end one-half mile west of the bypass.

In addition, crews will construct a right-turn lane at Seventh Street and make improvements to meet American Disability Act standards from Sixth Street to Lakeland Drive.

 At the open house, the public will be provided information about how traffic will be affected  during the construction, view a layout of the detour, take home project information and get their questions answered directly from MnDOT and the prime contractor staff responsible for the project.

When completed in November, the project will provide a smoother road surface, according to MnDOT.

Access will be maintained to local businesses and Kandiyohi County Road 9 will remain open to traffic for the duration of the project.

MnDOT will conduct a separate meeting Thursday with businesses that may be affected by the construction and detours.

That meeting, which will be at 7:30 a.m. at the Willmar Conference Center, will provide business representatives with details about the staging, timeliness and traffic impacts of the project.

MnDOT will also discuss ways they can assist businesses to handle the challenges of a construction project and detour. MnDOT will have weekly construction meetings to provide progress information about the project.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

(320) 894-9750