Bemidji City Council approves study for Hannah Ave. and Middle School Dr. ahead of MnDOT 197 project decision

The Bemidji City Council moved forward to study the impacts of either roundabouts or traffic signals on Hannah Avenue and Middle School Drive, as the Minnesota Department of Transportation comes closer to a final plan for Highway 197.

MnDOT’s Darren Laesch says those two intersections are the main difference between the two alternatives.

Laesch said MnDOT would appear for formal action between those two alternatives during a meeting either at the end of this year or the beginning of next year, which is about when the city’s own preliminary study of the two city streets will be complete.

Hannah Avenue and Middle School Drive will either have traffic signals or roundabouts, with both alternatives including a roundabout at the Menards access.

Ward 2’s Josh Peterson expressed concern that MnDOT isn’t moving forward with only the CRP’s recommendation of the signalized intersections.

City Manager Nate Mathews said that the ultimate say on which alternative will proceed lies with the council.

No formal action on the two alternatives was taken during last night’s meeting.

Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers all the beats in north-central Minnesota, such as local government, crime, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University. You can follow along with Larissa's live tweets of meetings and events on Twitter!

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