About this project
MnDOT, in a partnership with the city of Willmar and Kandiyohi County, initiated this transportation planning effort. The ultimate goal is a to identify reasonable and feasible long-term improvements associated with the road’s access, intersection control, aesthetics, drainage and overall safety and mobility.
In addition, issues or challenges in terms of physical constraints, environmental factors and financial considerations will be reviewed. Traffic operations and political and public perception are key factors in determining the conceptual long-range vision for this corridor.
Currently, there is no funding programmed for the study area nor is any contained in the current 20 year plan. The study is intended to create an overall vision for the corridor for all the partners to use to guide future decisions and not result in a list of future projects.
Study area location and description
The Hwy 12 Corridor Study area extends from Kandiyohi County Road 5/30th Street on the west to 45th Street SE on the east.
From the west, Hwy 12 is a rural two lane section that parallels the south side of the BNSF railroad corridor. Several commercial and light industrial developments are present with direct access to Hwy 12. The highway alignment swings slightly north as it enters the historic downtown business district and becomes a four lane highway. The roadway transitions into an urbanized two-lane road section east of downtown until the intersection with Hwys 23/71 where the highway is briefly a divided four lane. East of that interchange Hwy 12 transitions back to a rural two lane highway and adjacent land use becomes less developed.
West of the study area, Hwy 12 provides links to the cities of Benson and Ortonville, and points in between. East of the study area Hwy 12 provides connections to Litchfield, several state and county highways and to the western suburbs of the Twin Cities Metro area.
Estimated forecast traffic
Using a linear growth trend line, a 2040 forecast Average Annual Daily Traffic (AADT) was developed. The trend line shows that on both ends of the study corridor, outside of the city of Willmar, there will be an increase in traffic both coming in and out of the city. However, within the city limits, the trend is only for slight growth or continued decrease in traffic.
Corridor Investment Management Strategy (CIMS)
MnDOT has initiated this corridor-based initiative on a limited number of corridors, including Hwy 12 from Benson to the Twin Cities. The intent of this program is to bring MnDOT together with its partners to exchange information and discuss opportunities for collaborative and sustainable investment (lower cost/high benefit strategies). A series of Hwy 12 Corridor performance and investment strategies for the Willmar area has been prepared by MnDOT.