WILLMAR — Thanks to perfect weather last week, the concrete pour for the deck of the new Highway 12 bridge in Willmar was completed last week, according to the weekly Willmar Wye construction update from the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

Progress also continues on the Minnesota Highway 40 bridge, with pier construction concluding. Next up will be construction of the Highway 40 bridge abutments.

Both bridges will direct vehicle traffic over the future railroad track that will connect the BNSF Railway's Marshall and Morris Subdivision tracks. This will allow trains to travel between the two without having to turn engines around in downtown Willmar. This could reduce train traffic and noise in the city.

As part of the Willmar Wye, the decision was made to reroute Highway 12 south of its current track. Grading of the road surface has been completed, and in the next few weeks, crews will work on grading the ends of the new alignment and tying it into existing local road connections.

The construction update said paving of the new Highway 12 should begin in September.

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The Willmar Wye project is estimated to cost around $50 million, and is a private-public partnership between BNSF Railway, Kandiyohi County, the city of Willmar, MnDOT and the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission.