WILLMAR — The Minnesota Department of Transportation is offering a virtual open house for the public to learn about the plan for improving freight movement in the region.

The virtual open house walks community members through the freight planning process including next steps and recommendations. To attend the virtual open house, click here.

According to a news release, MnDOT District 8 started the freight planning process in October of 2019 with the purpose of providing a clear understanding of the freight system, how local industries use the system and to better understand needs, issues and opportunities.

MnDOT desires to provide a freight transportation system that attracts new businesses and enables others to maintain and grow their presence in southwest and west central Minnesota. The freight plan is intended to help guide MnDOT District 8 policy and programming decisions.

The District 8 draft freight plan includes economic and freight profiles (including descriptions of freight infrastructure and how local industries use it), identification of multimodal freight system needs, issues, and opportunities, and a list of specific projects that should be considered for future freight-related investment.

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MnDOT has contracted with CPCS Transcom Inc. and SEH Inc. on the freight plan. This team gathered information about the freight system in District 8 through various methods, including data research and analysis, stakeholder meetings, and industry consultations.

For more information on the District 8 draft freight plan ,please visit the freight plan website or contact Lindsey Bruer, Planning Director, at 320-979-5534.

Persons who may need an ASL, a foreign language interpreter, or other reasonable accommodation, or need documents in an alternative format (such as braille or large print), please email your request to Janet Miller at ADArequest.dot@state.mn.us or call 651-366-4720.