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.

© 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