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MnDOT to re-evaluate Hwy 23 and Hwy 9 safety improvement project

Image courtesy Minnesota Department of Transportation

After hearing concerns from the New London City Council, the Minnesota Department of Transportation office in Willmar will be pausing the J-turn safety improvement project north of Green Lake. This pause allows engineers to better understand the city of New London’s concerns, and to take the necessary time to hear from the public.

In 2017, MNDoT asked the public for input in a safety assessment of intersections along Hwy 23, including the intersection of Hwy 23 and Hwy 9 in New London.  At that time, the community’s priorities were to improve safety, keep traffic moving on Hwy 23 and help walkers and bikers safely cross Hwy 23 to get into New London.

With the decision to pause the J-turn project, the intersection of Hwy 23 and Hwy 9 will remain substantially as is until the re-evaluation is complete.  Depending on the selected safety improvement option, construction of a safety improvement at the intersection of Hwy 23 and Hwy 9 could be delayed to 2024 or later.

There are some pieces of the overall safety project that will move forward on Hwy 9 during the summer of 2022.  The addition of dedicated left turn lanes at the Country Stop, construction of a mid-block pedestrian crossing in front of the New London Spicer School, and mid-block pedestrian crossing near 3rd Avenue Southeast, and the replacement of portions of the retaining wall along the Mill Pond are still scheduled to be completed.

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