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Paynesville Press - January 1, 2003

Top 12 Stories of 2002: Highway 23 still undecided

By Michael Jacobson

The future route of Highway 23, through or around the city of Paynesville, continued to be studied in 2002, but no decisions were reached, as the study lagged behind schedule. A draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was due in the fall of 2002, but was not finished. Its completion and a public hearing for input on the EIS should be done in 2003.

What was decided were five potential options for Highway 23: making no improvements and keeping the existing route; making improvements along the existing route; bypassing town to the south and east; staying on roughly the same route on the west side of town until the river and then heading north of town (west bypass); and leaving the current highway along the Kandiyohi County line and bypassing west and north of Paynesville (far west bypass).

These routes have stayed roughly the same throughout the study, with the only addition being a couple options on the west bypass. Instead of following the current route of Highway 23 past the golf course, one option is to follow the old route through the farm fields to the north. Another option is moving the highway to the west as it passes the high school (behind the businesses across the road) and crossing the Crow River further west than the current bridge.

(Editor's Note: the Press has identified these 12 stories as the top news in the Paynesville area for 2002. For the top accomplishments in sports, see the 2002 sports review.)

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