Image courtesy MNDoT

The Minnesota Department of Transportation states the final year of construction on the Highway 23 South Gap project gets underway next week. Crews will be working away from traffic zones on signing and striping roadway in preparation of a traffic lane switch planned for Monday, April 1.

Additional offline work includes box culvert and storm pipe installations, mostly south of the Long Lake area. Work schedules are weather dependent. The South Gap project expands seven miles of Highway 23 to four lanes, from New London to Paynesville. The project includes safety enhancements at intersections along the corridor and a pedestrian underpass near Hawick. If weather and other circumstances cooperate, the two-year project will conclude later this summer.

The South Gap project is part of the three-year Highway 23 Gaps expansion project which received funding through the Corridors of Commerce program in May 2018. In addition to the South Gap, the North Gap expansion of Highway 23 to four lanes from Paynesville to Richmond was completed in 2023. When the North Gap and South Gap sections are both complete, Highway 23 travelers will be able to experience continuous four-lane travel from Willmar to Foley.
Project benefits and cost
Benefits of the project include improved traffic flow and freight movement, as well as overall corridor performance, capacity, and safety. Mathiowetz Construction is the contractor for the South Gap project, and the cost is $34.5 million.