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Contractor selected for Willmar Rail Connector project

The project is a public-private partnership between BNSF, MnDOT, Kandiyohi County and the city of Willmar to build a new rail line bypass.
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The Hoffman Team has been selected as the design-build "best value proposer" for the road portion of the Willmar Rail Connector and Industrial Access Project, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) announced this week.

Known as Willmar Wye, the project is a public-private partnership between BNSF Railway Co., MnDOT, Kandiyohi County and the city of Willmar to build a new rail line bypass on the city's west side.

The Hoffman Team will design and construct the roads and bridges that are part of the project. Major participants of the team include Hoffman Construction Co., Lunda Construction Co. and Bolton & Menk Inc., according to an MnDOT press release.

After the bid opening, the award process takes six to eight weeks to be completed, MnDOT officials said. Work to finalize the project's master agreement will continue during that process. Pending completion of those tasks, the contract will likely be awarded in mid-to-late November, they said.

Construction is expected to begin in spring 2019.

The Willmar Wye will provide a direct connection between BNSF's Marshall and Morris subdivisions, which will reduce the number trains passing through downtown Willmar.

The new rail line will be located next to the Willmar Industrial Park and provide opportunities to direct rail access, encouraging economic growth, MnDOT officials said.

In 2015, the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded a $10 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant to MnDOT to help fund the project.

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More News from 9/28/2018