Almost two years after the groundbreaking for the William Wye Highway in Minnesota, great progress has been made and the highway is almost finished. In the past two years, a refurbished US Highway 12 has been built, with overpass bridges on both Highway 12 and Minnesota. Highway 40, a roundabout at the intersection of the new Highway 12 and Kandiyohi County Road 5, a roundabout at the intersection of Highway 12, and the new driveway leading to the shops on 1st Avenue West. Only a few small projects remain, such as the completion of the curve at the intersection of 45th Street West and the former US Highway 12, which is primarily used as an access road for residents and companies. The landscaping around the construction zone also requires a little more attention.
The next step in the US$48 million project is the construction of the new rail line that will pass under the new overpasses. The Morris subdivision runs parallel to Highway 12, while the Marshall subdivision runs alongside Kandiyohi County Highways 55 and 15 and Minnesota Highway 23, the train station in downtown Willmar. The Willmar Wye project has been a private-public partnership since its earliest days. The project has also received a US$10 million federal grant.
The aim is to reduce the number of trains blocking road crossings, reduce train noise in the city and reduce the number of possible interactions between vehicles and trains. The BNSF Railway is responsible for building the new line. According to Lydia K. Bjorge, the BNSF executive director of public affairs for Minnesota and Wisconsin, the railroad will begin grading the new route this month and that work will continue. in autumn and winter. The runway relocation begins in early summer 2022 and is expected to be completed in autumn.