Council to decide Highway 197’s future in meeting tonight

The Bemidji City Council is expected to vote this evening on an alternative for the MnDOT Highway 197 project coming in a few years.

Two years ago, the council rejected a plan that would include six roundabouts along the corridor, but since then, a community review panel has met and ultimately preferred  Alternative one, which includes three roundabouts at Menard’s, Middle School Drive, and Hannah Avenue.

A meridian would be in place along the roundabout stretch but would be minimal from Hannah Avenue to Bemidji Ave.

Both alternatives presented included pedestrian improvements.

Alternative 2’s differences include only one roundabout at Menards, with traffic signals remaining at Hannah and Middle School.

The council is also expected to set the 2022 budget and levy, which was preliminarily set to an 8.5 percent increase over last year.

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