PAYNESVILLE -- The Highway 23 Paynesville Bypass opens Friday, more than a month ahead of schedule.

The 7 1/2 mile, four-lane divided bypass runs north of New London from Kandyohi County Road 6 to west of 263rd Avenue in Paynesville.

The project's supervisor says the mild winter allowed contractors to get started early. It wasn't expected to be completed until August 31st.

Workers will still be in the area doing touch-up work and removing the western end of the old Highway 23 and creating a cul-de-sac there.