MnDOT selects consultant for Highway 23
WILLMAR -- The St. Paul firm of Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc. has been selected as the engineering consultant for the preliminary layout development and environmental review on the state Highway 23 two-lane to four-lane gap from New London to Pa...
WILLMAR - The St. Paul firm of Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc. has been selected as the engineering consultant for the preliminary layout development and environmental review on the state Highway 23 two-lane to four-lane gap from New London to Paynesville, the Minnesota Department of Transportation announced Thursday.
Judy Jacobs, public affairs coordinator at the MnDOT District 8 office in Willmar, said currently there are no plans for constructing the four-lane because there is no funding available for the construction at this time.
Working with MnDOT, SEH will begin the environmental review and layout development for the New London-to-Paynesville segment late this summer, Jacobs said.
Under the anticipated time frame, the environmental review will begin this month. During late summer and fall, SEH will gather surveys, field reviews and locations studies. From October through January, SEH will prepare and analyze alignment alternatives.
The first public information meeting will be in January. From February through June, SEH will finalize the preferred alternative and another public information meeting will be held in June.
From July through December 2015, SEH will finalize the environmental review and hold a public hearing.
The total project cost, inflated to fiscal year 2017 estimates, is $50 million to $70 million.
The cost covers construction; wetland mitigation, utility agreements, and detour costs; environmental review, surveys, engineering and contract administration; and right of way.
This year, the Legislature added funds to the Corridors of Commerce program. Jacobs said the program designated
$1.5 million for environmental work on future expansion from New London to Paynesville and Paynesville to Richmond.
In addition, the environmental review process is scheduled to begin in spring 2015 for the segment from Paynesville to Richmond.
The primary purpose of the proposed project is to improve corridor performance, mobility and safety, and encourage and enhance new business growth along this segment of the corridor, Jacobs said.
She said MnDOT and SEH ask motorists to watch and slow down for field staff doing survey and investigation work.
For more information on the project, visit the project website at http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d8/projects/hwy23gapsnewlondonpaynesville/ind... .