Image of the Willmar Wye project courtesy MAASTO

On Tuesday the Minnesota Department of Transportation announced that the Willmar Wye project has won the regional 2023 America’s Transportation Award.
Officially known as the Willmar Rail Connector and Industrial Access Design-Build Project, the Willmar Wye was selected from 23 projects nominated by ten states within the Mid America Association of State Transportation Officials (MAASTO).
MAASTO noted: “This $50 million project delivers a direct rail connection between various freight networks in Minnesota. Known locally as “Willmar Wye,” the venture ensures that fewer trains travel into the residential areas of Willmar and allows for easier freight transport through the area. The project lessens rail traffic congestion at rail/roadway crossings, enhances safety, minimizes delays, improves air quality, plus lowers train noise and greenhouse gas emissions while also creating a hub for multi-modal shipping. Catering to the growing population, this project incorporated a foundation for economic growth in Wilmar; giving businesses the opportunity to expand and bring new jobs to the community for years to come.”
The public-private partnership included the City of Willmar, Kandiyohi County, BNSF Railway, Federal Highway Administration, Federal Railroad Administration, Kandiyohi County & City of Willmar Economic Development Commission, and the Minnesota Department of Transportation.