WILLMAR – Construction is being accelerated on a major highway project in Litchfield that could now be done about six weeks ahead of schedule.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation said the intersection of U.S. Highway 12 and state Highway 22 in Litchfield will be closed to traffic starting today, May 14, as part of a two-year project on Highway 12.

The intersection had originally been scheduled to be closed July 5 as part of the reconstruction of Highway 12 from Fourth Street to the intersection with Highway 22.

By closing the intersection now, the project will be completed Sept. 9, about six weeks earlier than scheduled, according to MnDOT.

In 2019, work was completed from Fourth Street to the outlet at Jewett Creek and a pond was constructed to improve drainage

This year, MnDOT began work March 30 on the remaining stretch of Highway 12 and the city of Litchfield began installing new water and sewer lines in the downtown area.

The goal is to start paving the reconstructed highway by the first week of June.

Landwehr Construction is the contractor on the project.