Minnesota Department of Transportation

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News releases

Aug. 31, 2023

Latest news releases

Hwy 197 resurfacing in Bemidji begins September 6

Motorists can expect overnight work and lane closures beginning at 8pm

BEMIDJI, Minn. - Motorists on Highway 197 in Bemidji will experience lane closures as crews are scheduled to begin resurfacing the road September 6, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
The Highway 197 resurfacing work is located between Hannah Avenue and Bemidji Avenue with overnight lane closures beginning at 8:00 p.m. Motorists will experience night-time lane closures as most of the resurfacing work will take place at night to lessen the impact on businesses and motorists. The lane closures will be removed during the day.

Flaggers will direct motorists through the project area, so short traffic delays are possible. The contractor for the $1.1 million dollar project is Knife River Materials. The project is expected to last about two weeks and will extend the life of the pavement until a more permanent fix can be constructed in about 10 years. Learn more at mndot.gov/d2/projects/hwy197-bemidji.

Highway 197 Future Construction

2026 Reconstruct – Hannah Ave to Gillett Dr

MnDOT plans to reconstruct Highway 197 between Hannah Avenue and Gillett Drive in 2026. Project staff have recently been focused on final design details and developing a construction staging plan. Over the past few months, they have been meeting with individual business owners along the project area. MnDOT is seeking additional input on user preferences for construction staging.

In 2022, MnDOT and the City of Bemidji were awarded a RAISE Grant through the U.S. DOT, which help communities build transportation projects that have significant local or regional impact and improve safety and equity. The project was awarded $18 million, with $14.4 million towards the MnDOT project and $3.6 million toward the City’s. Learn more at talk.dot.state.mn.us/hwy-197-bemidji.

Adjacent project – Hannah Ave and Middle School Dr

The City of Bemidji plans to reconstruct Hannah Avenue and Middle School Drive between 23rd Street and Highway 197 in 2025.