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Hwy 40 reopening delayed on Willmar Wye project (June 11, 2020)

WILLMAR, Minn. – Completion of the new Highway 40 bridge in Willmar, which is part of the Willmar Wye project, has been delayed and as a result Highway 40 will not reopen in June as originally scheduled. The delay occurred due to unforeseeable circumstances resulting from an early change in the design-build contracting process.

The Highway 40 bridge has been rescheduled for completion in winter 2020/21, with paving taking place in spring 2021. The delay for the reopening of Highway 40 will not affect the overall completion of the project, which is still scheduled for summer 2021.

MnDOT will now concentrate on completing U.S. Highway 12 and County Road 55. Once these roads are opened to traffic, the Highway 40 detour will change from County Road 7 and the existing U.S. Highway 12 to County Road 55 and the realigned U.S. Highway 12. The detour change is expected to take place this fall. Both detour maps are attached.

Willmar Wye is the commonly referred to name for the Willmar Rail Connector & Industrial Access project, which is a public-private partnership between the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Kandiyohi County, City of Willmar, Kandiyohi/Willmar Economic Development Commission, and BNSF Railway, to build a new rail line on the west side of Willmar. The additional rail line will provide a direct connection between the Marshall and Morris Subdivisions of the BNSF freight rail network as well as freight rail access to the City of Willmar’s industrial park.

The project includes the realignment of U.S. Highway 12 and the reconstruction of Highway 40, including two new bridges, and the construction of two single-lane roundabouts. Benefits of the project include:

  • Improved safety for travelers by reducing at-grade crossing exposure
  • Increased multi-modal opportunities for shippers
  • Economic growth possibilities
  • Improved quality of life
  • Reduced wait times for railroad crossings to clear
  • Fewer trains and reduced noise in downtown Willmar

The Hoffman Team is the contractor on the project. Major participants of the team include Hoffman Construction Company, Lunda Construction Company, and Bolton & Menk, Inc.

When driving near or through the work zone, drivers may encounter lane shifts, uneven road surfaces, heavy equipment and/or other unexpected obstacles. Please remember to:

  • Slow down when approaching every work zone, then navigate through with care and caution
  • Do not enter or move work zone barriers
  • Stay alert; watch for workers and slow moving equipment
  • Obey posted signs, speed limits and flaggers; fine for a work zone violation is $300

For more information on the project, and to sign up for project updates, visit

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