MnDOT to hold open house in Roscoe on Highway 23 North Gap project

The Minnesota Department of Transportation is holding an open house on the north gap project on Minnesota Highway 23 between Paynesville and Richmond.

Construction on the Minnesota Highway 23 North Gap project is set to begin this spring. A detour around the construction site will be in place.
Contributed / Minnesota Department of Transportation

WILLMAR — The public is invited to an open house on the Minnesota Highway 23 North Gap project, to be held from 4 to 6 p.m. April 6 at the Roadside Tavern Banquet Hall in Roscoe.

Minnesota Department of Transportation staff, along with the Mathiowetz Construction, the project contractor, will be on hand to answer questions about the project, timelines and detours, MnDOT announced in press release. There will be no formal presentation at the open house.

For those unable to attend the open house in person, there is a virtual option on the MnDOT project webpage .

The North Gap project will take the current nine-mile, two-lane stretch of Highway 23 from Paynesville to Richmond and transform it into four lanes. Several intersections along the highway will also reconstructed to improve sight lines, reduce crash points and enhance safety.

The project is expected to cost around $41.75 million, with funding coming from the state's Corridors of Commerce program.


Three detours will be required as part of the North Gap project. From May 16 through October 2022 and then again from May to October 2023, Highway 23 from 263rd Avenue in Paynesville to Stearns County Road 12 in Richmond will be closed to all through traffic. The detour will reroute vehicles to Stearns County roads 33, 32 and 12.

The construction area will be open for those who live, work or are visiting properties along the zone. Drivers should expect changes and be alert for constructions signs, lane closures, gravel surfaces, flaggers, pilot cars, road crews and heavy equipment.

More on Minnesota Highway 23
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.

The other two detours are needed because of culvert replacement work. Stearns County Road 43 will be closed from Highway 23 to Fellows Road, with a detour in place, from June through August 2022. Stearns County Road 12 will also be detoured for two weeks in 2023.

The North Gap is part of the three-year Highway 23 Gaps expansion project. The South Gap, between New London and Paynesville, will start construction in 2023, with completion in 2024. When both the north and south gaps are completed, travelers will be able to drive from Willmar to Foley on a continuous four-lane highway.

Shelby Lindrud is a reporter with the West Central Tribune of Willmar. Her focus areas are arts and entertainment, agriculture, features writing and the Kandiyohi County Board.

She can be reached via email or direct 320-214-4373.

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