Highway 23 supporters drive in rally

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 10/8/96.

People were waving their hands at people along the road and honking their car horns as the ãRoad Rallyä progressed down Highway 23 from Willmar to Cold Spring Tuesday evening. The purpose of the road rally was to show legislators and MnDOT the intense support of area residents have for the idea of developing Highway 23 into a four-lane highway.

In the lead was an antique black sedan followed by vehicles of every description, age and color. There were semi-trucks, motorcycles, delivery vans and pickup trucks taking part in the road rally. This reporter estimated the number of vehicles to be between 250 to 300 by the time the road rally reached Cold Spring. As the cars rolled through Spicer, New London, Hawick, Paynesville, Roscoe, and Richmond, the numbers increased with supporters joining at each community along the route.

Organizers termed the road rally very successful as the parking lot at the Blue Heron in Cold Spring was filled to over- flowing at the rallyâs destination. Participants gathered at the Blue Heron to listen to Dave Trooien, MnDOT district manager, talk about highway funding problems.

Paynesville Mayor Joe Voss was among those who joined the rally in Paynesville. He felt the long line of vehicles was a common sight on Highway 23 as members of the community are often frustrated by the traffic congestion and lack of areas to pass slower vehicles.

Dwight Putzke, Paynesville Motor and Transfer, participated in the rally because he feels progress is needed on Highway 23. ãWe need to work into the future to improve traffic flow. My main concern is to be informed so I can work with the system,ä he said. ãMotorists are not stopping when school buses stop and extend the stop arm. The four lanes will improve the flow of traffic but could also create new problems for school buses.ä

Ed and Kathy Webb, Paynesville, joined the rally at the beginning. ãThe road is miserable,ä Webb said. He has a daughter in St. Cloud and knows the route well.

< [ Return to Previous Menu | Archived Press Stories Menu | Return to the News Page ]