Tricounty News

Highway 23 Paynesville Bypass set to open July 20

The Highway 23 Paynesville Bypass will open Friday, July 20, more than a month ahead of schedule. Crews will begin removing barricades to the entrances and exits at 9 a.m., and motorists may access the new roadway by noon, weather permitting.

"The project wasn't scheduled to be complete until Aug. 31," said Bill Knofczynski, project supervisor. "The mild winter allowed the contractor to get an early start, and that helped put them ahead."

Motorists traveling east on Highway 23 will now access Paynesville on Veterans Drive, formerly known as First Street, and westbound access will remain the same. Although the roadway will be open, crews will still be operating in the area.

"Work includes various touch-ups along the bypass," said Knofczynski. "The western end of old Highway 23 will be removed and converted to a cul-de-sac, but none of the remaining work should have an impact on motorists."

KGM Contractors Inc. constructed the 7.5-mile, four-lane divided bypass, which is located north of New London from Kandiyohi County Road 6 to west of 263rd Avenue in Paynesville. Work included grading, paving, constructing eight bridges and lighting.

The Highway 23 Paynesville Bypass will improve mobility and safety for motorists traveling along the Highway 23 corridor and allows Highway 23 to remain an important connection between Willmar and St. Cloud.

The city of Paynesville will host a grand opening celebrating the completed project in mid-August.

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