MnDOT to discuss Highway 197 corridor plans

The Bemidji City Council will discuss plans for reconstructing the Highway 197 business corridor with MnDOT during their work session Monday.

According to city documents, the council rejected the plan of constructing six roundabouts proposed by MnDOT last August by a split vote of 3 to 4 after hearing numerous comments from affected business owners.

MnDOT is still planning an improvement project on this section of Highway in 2026.

The corridor was constructed in the 1960s, and its curb and gutter, concrete medians, sidewalks and underground infrastructure are approaching 60 years of service life.

Two traffic signals are also approaching the end of their service life, and the pavement surface was last overlaid in 2006. MnDOT says it is anticipated to be in poor condition by the time MnDOT gets to work on the corridor.

MnDOT also says it has one of the highest crash costs in this part of the state, with over 50 crashes each year. A quarter of those crashes result in personal injuries.


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 events and issues in north central Minnesota, which include local government, crime, courts, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University and received her degree in 2018. Larissa is also an active member with the Bemidji Jaycees, a leadership development through community service organization for adults 18 to 40. Larissa, native to the great state of New York, grew up in Bemidji, and enjoys spending her spare time with her growing family and pet cat. She also loves Star Trek, punk rock music and the theater.


© 2020 HBI Radio Bemidji, LLC d/b/a Paul Bunyan Broadcasting 502 Beltrami Ave NW, Bemidji, MN 56601 This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area