Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Hwy 371

Four lane expansion study from Nisswa to Pine River

Study background

History

Nisswa Photo
Aerial photo of Nisswa at Edna Lake.

In 2003, a Scoping Document was completed for the Highway 371 area in Crow Wing and Cass Counties to identify the need for future improvements to the approximately 16 mile segment.

In 2003, a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) was issued that addressed the safety and capacity concerns, as well as the potential for social, economic, and environmental impacts to the area. In the DEIS five specific alignment alternatives within the corridor were considered and studied.

The alternatives included:

  • Alternative 1 - No Build Alternative
  • Alternative 2 - Existing Alignment
  • Alternative 3 - Existing Alignment with Pequot Lakes Bypass
  • Alternative 4 - Existing Alignment with Pequot Lakes and Jenkins Bypass
  • Alternative 5 - Existing alignment with Jenkins Bypass

In June 2004, Alternative 2 was presented at a public meeting as the preferred alternative. Pequot Lakes Hwy 371 Layout Pine River Hwy 371 Layout Jenkins and Wilson Township Hwy 371 Layouts Nisswa/Twin Lakes Hwy 371 Layout Nisswa Hwy 371 Layout - 2012 realignment of Crow Wing County Rd 18 Nisswa Hwy 371 Layout - 2012 realignment of Crow Wing County Rd 18 Pequot Lakes Hwy 371 Layout

Project Map
Project location map.

Since then it became increasingly difficult for MnDOT and the city of Pequot Lakes to agree on the details of Alternative 2, as Highway 371 passed through the city. Most of the discussion related to:

  1. Safety concerns expressed by the city of Pequot Lakes related to the projected traffic volumes for the through-town alignment
  2. Implementation of required access management controls in Pequot Lakes

See Supplemental Final Environmental Impact Statement (SFEIS) for more information.

Once the selection of the preferred alternative was determined, MnDOT began working on the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), which focused solely on Alternative 2.

In January 2005, the FEIS was issued. The document covered the potential impacts that would occur with the proposed Alternative 2 improvements and any mitigation commitments. This included the need for improved safety, congestion reduction, and access along the corridor.

In 2005, the Adequacy Determination and Record of Decision documents for the FEIS were signed.

In June 2006, the Pequot Lakes City Council passed a resolution requesting MnDOT to reroute Highway 371 to a corridor east of town.

In January 2007, a joint committee comprised of members of the City Council and the Pequot Lakes Planning and Zoning Commission have met to evaluate and refine the details of a bypass alignment. In September 2007, this group published its findings and recommendations in a Highway 371 Alternate Route Study Group Report.

On December 18, 2008, the Pequot Lakes City Council passed a resolution identifying the alternate alignment (later identified as Alternative 3 MOD) as the preferred alternative for the expansion of Hwy 371 in the City of Pequot Lakes.

In February 2010, MnDOT completed a Draft Supplemental Final Environmental Impact Statement (Draft SFEIS) for the analysis of impacts and mitigation in the areas affected by the design change to a bypass of Pequot Lakes.

Pine River Photo
Aerial photo of Pine River.

On March 8, 2010 the Draft SFEIS was distributed for public review and comment. The comment period ended on April 16, 2010. Two public hearings/open houses were scheduledl.

In July 2010, MnDOT completed the Supplemental Final Environmental Impact Statement (SFEIS). The document covered the potential impacts that would occur with the proposed Alternative 3 MOD improvements and any mitigation commitments.

The Record of Decision and Adequacy Determination was issued in mid-to-late October 2010.

In 2012-2014, a project was constructed in partnership with Crow Wing county and the city of Nisswa. The existing signal and intersection at Main Street was moved south one block to align with the new Crow Wing County Hwy 18. Nisswa city frontage roads, utilities and the existing Hwy 371 four lane was also reconstructed and improved.

In October 2014, plans to expand Highway 371 between Nisswa and Jenkins was accelerated, when the project received $45 million in Corridors of Commerce funds.

On Nov. 30, 2015, Mathiowetz Construction was awarded the design-build contract to expand Highway 371 between Crow Wing County Road 18 in Nisswa and north of County Road 16 in Jenkins, includes a new realignment and County Road 11 interchange in Pequot Lakes, for $49.858,419. Learn more about this construction project at www.mndot.gov/d3/hwy371/

MnDOT will continue to work closely with the cities of Jenkins and Pine River to further refine the study layout concepts within their own communities. This will be an ongoing process until the final highway design is programmed to be constructed. Currently, this two lane segment of Highway 371 remains in 'Study' status until funding becomes available.

Timeline Table

 

Year Activity
December 2002 Public Scoping Meeting
February 2003 Final Scoping Decision Document
November 2003 Amended Scoping Decision Document
December 2003 Start of Draft Environmental Impact Statement
January 2004 Public Hearing on Draft Environmental Impact Statement
March 2004 Selection of Preferred Alternative by MnDOT
January 2005 Distribution of Final Environmental Impact Statement
March 2005 Federal Highway Administration Record of Decision
March 2005 MnDOT Adequacy Determination
June 2006 City of Pequot Lakes requests realignment alternative
September 2007 Pequot Lakes joint committee publishes Highway 371 Alternate Route Study Group Report
December 2008 Pequot Lakes City Council Passes Resolution Identifying the Bypass as the Preferred Alternative
February 2010 MnDOT Draft Supplemental Final Environmental Impact Statement (SFEIS) for Pequot Lakes bypass
Mar. 8 - April 16, 2010 Draft SFEIS available for public review and comments
Mar. 29 - 30, 2010 Draft SFEIS Public Hearings in Pequot Lakes and Pine River
May - July 2010 Complete Final SFEIS
October 2010 Federal Highway Administration Record of Decision
Nov - Dec 2010 Municipal Consent (Nisswa, Pequot Lakes and Jenkins)
2012 - 2014 Realignment construction of Main Street/Crow Wing County Road 18 in Nisswa
2012-2015 Property Acquisition
2014 Project receives $45 million in Corridors of Commerce funds
Nov. 30, 2015 Mathiowetz Construction awarded the design-build contract to expand Highway 371 between Nisswa and Jenkins
2016-2017 Expand Hwy 371 to four lanes in Nisswa, Pequot Lakes and Jenkins, includes new alignment hook-ups and County Road 11 interchange in Pequot Lakes, Paul Bunyan trail improvements, new Cullen Brook bridges in Nisswa, and new signalized intersection at County Road 16/Myers Road in Jenkins
April 15, 2016 Construction ground breaking ceremony and open house held in Pequot Lakes
Unprogrammed Expand to four lanes between Jenkins and Pine River

Future dates subject to change.

Web pg: jseelen