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Safety improvements on Minnesota Highway 23 in New London will have to wait

Safety improvements at the intersection of Minnesota Highways 23 and 9 are being pushed back due to a delay in the awarding of Corridors of Commerce funding.

Project area map for the intersection of state Highway 23 and state Highway 9 in New London, Minnesota.
Any decision on the safety improvements for the intersection of state Highway 23 and state Highway 9 in New London has been pushed back due to a delay in potential funding for the project.
Contributed / Minnesota Department of Transportation

NEW LONDON β€” Residents, visitors and travelers to New London, who use the intersection of state Highways 23 and 9 will have to wait even longer to find out what safety improvements will be made to the intersection.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation District 8 announced on Wednesday that the decision on whether to construct an interchange or roundabout at the intersection will be delayed until at least mid- to late summer. The cause of the delay is the state pushing back the announcement on which projects will be awarded Corridors of Commerce funding.

The announcement, which was supposed to be made on May 1, is now scheduled for the end of the 2023 legislative session. The last day of the session is May 22.

Legislators wanted to make sure any new legislative updates will be made to the program before awards are announced, according to a press release from MnDOT.

After an extensive revaluation of the Highway 23 safety improvement project , which included public input, MnDOT decided to consider and analyze both the interchange and roundabout option for the intersection, following strong public opposition to a proposed J-turn. The project analysis included costs and potential funding sources. Kandiyohi County submitted an application to the Corridors of Commerce program to obtain funding for the proposed interchange project, though no final decision on which option MnDOT will go with has been made.

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MnDOT District 8 has received $2.5 million in federal funds that can be used for either option. However, additional funds are needed. The roundabout is estimated to cost $7 million to $10 million, while the interchange could cost between $20 million and $26 million.

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 slindrud@wctrib.com or direct 320-214-4373.


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