Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Hwy 197 Corridor Study


Orange barrels on a highway

Public Involvement

MnDOT has taken a very collaborative approach in developing the plans for this project. Even though it won't take place for 5-8 years it's important to take a holistic approach in identifying issues and designing a viable fix that considers all users. There are many opportunities to take part in this planning study.

Public Meetings

MnDOT will continue to conduct open houses in order to meet with constituents for this project.The next opportunities are:

  • Bemidji City Hall, 317 Fourth Street NW, Tuesday, May 28, 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Bemidji Public Library, 509 America Avenue NW, Saturday, June 1, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Business Interviews

MnDOT contacted 62 businesses along the corridor in order to take part in Business Interviews. 36 responded and provided information.

Online Survey


MnDOT is now conducting a second online survey. Provide your updated comments here.


In November and December, MnDOT invited all community members and corridor users to provide direct input with an online survey. We heard back from 375 respondents, 75 percent of which lived in the Bemidji area.

Community Review Panel

This panel of 30 volunteers presents a diverse cross section of corridor users. The Panelists are made up of residents, motorists, business owners, community leaders, and city/county staff. This group is taking a more active role in the planning study by meeting monthly in order to develop and evaluate project alternatives. Throughout the meetings participants will:

  • Study and identify issues along the corridor
  • Learn traffic safety and engineering concepts
  • Conduct a stakeholder analysis
  • Develop, evaluate and prioritize alternatives

Meeting materials

February 2- Community Review Panel meeting #1

February 28- Community Review Panel meeting #2

April 5- Community Review Panel meeting #3

May 28- Community Review Panel meeting #4

Email Updates

A great way to stay connected to all happenings within the project is through emailed project updates. If you are not already signed up to receive these important updates, sign up.