The Minnesota Department of Transportation will be completing a resurfacing project on Highway 34, from Becker County Road 29 to west of Osage, County Road 26/47 (old MN225). This project is scheduled for construction in 2023.
In preparation for the project, MnDOT is partnering with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to complete selective logging within the state highway right of way on the south side of Highway 34 from west of Snellman to the Shell River. MnDOT will also remove trees and vegetation from the remainder of the project, from County Road 29 to west of Snellman. All of this work will take place in the state highway right of way. All tree work will take place between Nov. 1, 2022 and March 31, 2023.
Join us in-person on Tuesday, Oct. 4, from 4 to 7 p.m., to learn more about the upcoming project. Event will be held at the M State Campus - C101 Auditorium, 900 Hwy 34 E, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501. There will be no formal presentation, stop in whenever it's convenient!
Highway 34 tree work
Removal of trees and vegetation within 65 feet from both sides of the centerline (clear zone)
Shade tree reduction on the south side of the highway between Snellman and Osage (about 7 miles)
Project is 42 lane miles, 21 miles each direction. Selective logging will occur on less than 5 miles, as areas of wetlands and residents are not logged. Selective logging equates to less than 12% of project lane miles, and less than 4% of the scenic byway lane miles. See exhibit below.
Tree removals within Clear Zone (65 feet from centerline)
Snellman to County 47 (West of Osage) (7 miles)
Bridge/Box culvert and culvert replacements
Pavement reclamation to improve ride condition
Tree removals within clear zone (65 feet from centerline)
Selective Logging (beyond clear zone)
Addressing public concerns
Project staff has received concerns regarding the tree removals planned ahead of resurfacing. We take these public comments seriously and have met with several stakeholders to discuss solutions. We are doing our best to balance the needs between safety, environment and budget. You can find many answers to the common questions on our "Question & Answer" page.
Hearing these concerns, we have also made modifications to our plans:
MnDOT’s original plans were to remove 85% of trees as shown. Through public engagement, MnDOT has reduced the removals to 50%
Originally proposed was an 85% removal of trees with 15% of trees remaining out to 250' with unique DNR contract for minimal impact harvest
First compromise was a 75% removal of trees with 25% of trees remaining out to 150'
Final compromise is a 50% removal of trees with 50% of trees remaining out to 150'