Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Hwy 197 Corridor Vision

Bemidji

Project update

Residents and business owners are invited to take part in a virtual open house to provide comments on the new Highway 197 corridor alternatives.

Click here to take the online survey

Designing future Highway 197 improvements

hastings bridge

A breakout group of community panelists working together in 2019 to identify issues and features along the corridor

Updated: June 9, 2021

June 2021

Alternative 1.1

Alternative 2.1

Open House Survey is underway

Community members invited to take part in the online survey from May 24-June 25

Along with an online survey, MnDOT and the Headwaters Regional Development Commission (HRDC) will be at a variety of events along the corridor to answer questions and provide comments. The virtual open house survey will provide the opportunity to give feedback on the two new alternative layouts for the corridor.

Residents and business owners are invited to take part in a virtual open house to provide comments on the new Highway 197 corridor alternatives developed. Along with an online survey, MnDOT and the Headwaters Regional Development Commission (HRDC) will be at a variety of events along the corridor to answer questions and provide comments. The virtual open house survey will provide the opportunity to give feedback on the two new alternative layouts for the corridor.

The HRDC has led the collaboration process with the local Community Review Panel (CRP) for the Highway 197 project in Bemidji. The group meets each month to discuss new solutions to the previously proposed alternatives in 2020. The virtual open house will be available May 24 through June 25. Click here to take the survey.

Most recently, the CRP reviewed the two new alternatives proposed for the Highway 197 corridor in Bemidji. Joe DeVore, an engineering consultant with KLJ, has been present at each meeting to review expected safety improvements, present analysis on CRP concepts, and provide engineering insight to each segment of the corridor. Based on the input from the CRP, KLJ has provided two new alternative layouts for community input. These new concepts include CRP feedback of prioritizing business ingress and egress and multimodal improvements while still addressing key safety improvements responding to recent crash locations.

Over the past month, MnDOT, HRDC, KLJ and the CRP have presented these alternatives to business owners along the corridor. The virtual open house survey will provide an opportunity for community input on the new alternatives for the corridor. Along with the virtual open house, the groups will schedule events in Bemidji to share the new concepts in a variety of ways. More information on these community engagement efforts can be found on the public engagement tab.

The HRDC, MnDOT and KLJ plan to present the results of the virtual open house to the CRP later this summer. By September, the CRP will make a recommendation to the Bemidji City Council on the preferred alternative for the Highway 197 corridor.

Learn more about roundabouts in Minnesota here.

 

2020-21 Community Review Panel

The committee's purpose is to provide community supported corridor improvement recommendations to the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the City of Bemidji. Over the course of the year, the committee will:

  • Establish priorities and develop a community vision for the corridor
  • Identify and study issues along the corridor
  • Learn traffic safety and engineering concepts
  • Develop, evaluate and recommend feasible alternatives

The City of Bemidji selected committee members who represent diverse perspectives, including business owners, motorists; residents, bicycle and pedestrians, disabled users, transit, economic development, emergency response, planning, safety, engineering and local governments.

  1. The group will provide a final recommendation to the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the City of Bemidji
  2. The group will:
    • Represent the community's interests
    • Listen to all points of view and try to understand interests of others
    • Openly discuss issues with people who hold diverse views and participate in cooperative discussion to understand differences and find compromise where possible
    • Clearly articulate and represent interests of their organization and/or stakeholder group
    • Learn about, and contribute to understanding, the social and economic aspects of traffic safety, access management and engineering improvements
    • Generate and evaluate options to address issues expressed by group members
    • Facilitate dialogue between diverse interests
    • If applicable, keep represented constituent groups informed and solicit input
    • Advise on effective, feasible and publicly acceptable recommendations for corridor improvements
  3. The HRDC will support the group by:
    • Facilitating committee meetings
    • Be a liaison between the community, the City of Bemidji and MnDOT
  4. MnDOT will support the group by:
    • Providing relevant information (e.g. available data, studies, background and potential corridor alternatives)
    • Providing guidance on policy, funding and engineering
    • Addressing issues deemed significant by the group
  5. The City of Bemidji and MnDOT will be the final approval authority for adoption of the community panel's recommended improvements

 

  • Effective, feasible and supported recommendations for corridor improvements
  • Enhanced public agency collaboration and community partnership

  • The committee will meet monthly during the course of the year-long study.
  • The HRDC will convene each meeting, develop agendas and provide meeting summaries
  • MnDOT staff will prepare and provide technical information to inform discussion

The HRDC sought out volunteers and coordinated with the Bemidji City Council in developing the committee. The goal was to gather members who represent diverse perspectives including business owners, motorists, residents, bicycle, pedestrians, transit, economic development, emergency response, planning, safety, engineering and local government representatives.

  • Mark Dickinson (Century 21 Dickinson Realtors)
  • Arch Simonson (Simonson Station Stores)
  • Gary Gregg (Clarity Glass)
  • John Meyers (Marketplace Foods & Westridge Shopping Center)
  • Tiffacy Baer Paine (Security Bank USA)
  • Jim Naylor (TrekNorth Junior & Senior High School)
  • Steve Hill (Hill's Plumbing & Heating, Inc)
  • Abby Randall (Bemidji Chamber of Commerce)
  • John Svingen (Bemidji Chamber of Commerce)
  • Jamie Thibedeaux (Resident)
  • Torry Swedberg (Resident, wheelchair user, advocate for the disabled)
  • Mur Gilman (Bike Bemidji)
  • Maggie Lowry (BSU Student)
  • Debbie Wold (Bemidji Housing & Redevelopment Authority)
  • Beryl Wernberg (Retired Emergency Dispatch, Toward Zero Deaths volunteer)
  • Dave Hengel (Greater Bemidji, Inc)
  • Jamin Carlson (Greater Bemidji Area Joint Planning Board)
  • Mike Mastin (Bemidji Police Chief)
  • Emelie Rivera (Bemidji City Council)
  • Ron Johnson (Bemidji City Council)
  • Josh Peterson (Bemidji City Council)
  • Sam Anderson (Assistant City Engineer)
  • Bill Pirkl (Minnesota Department of Transportation)