Highway 23 gap projects moving forward
District 8 Engineer Jon Huseby said MnDOT remains on schedule to undertake the Highway 23 gap projects during a four-year span starting in 2022. Work on the south gap is slated for 2023, or one year earlier than originally planned.
WILLMAR — Progress continues to be made to construct the four-lane “gaps” on Minnesota Highway 23 between New London and Richmond ahead of the original schedule.
Plans are on track to construct the south and north gaps in a three-year span, from 2022 through 2024, Jon Huseby, District 8 engineer, Minnesota Department of Transportation, told members of the Area Transportation Partnership Oct. 9.
The nine-mile north gap between Paynesville and Richmond is the more challenging of the two due to soil instability and environmental issues, said the engineer. Despite those challenges, work is on schedule for a bid letting in 2022 and construction during 2022-23.
MnDOT is planning to award the seven-mile south gap between New London and Paynesville in 2023, or a year earlier than originally planned. It will also take two years of construction, from 2023 through 2024.
Moving the south gap ahead by a year means there will be a year overlap where work takes place on both of the segments. Huseby said MnDOT is confident it will be “doable” to have the two projects underway simultaneously.
The Legislature awarded $94.5 million in bond funds for the projects, according to the engineer.