Aug 16, 2023 | By: Zy'Riah Simmons

Bemidji Holds Open House on Hannah Ave. and Middle School Dr. Improvement Project

With work planned by MnDOT on a highway improvement project for Highway 197/Paul Bunyan Drive, the City of Bemidji is also looking to redevelop two streets that connect to the highway.

Map of proposed Hannah Ave. and Middle School Dr. improvement project with revisions marked (Credit: City of Bemidji)

City officials and community members got a chance to express their thoughts on the new reconstruction project Tuesday at Bemidji City Hall. The road work will take place along Hannah Avenue NW and Middle School Drive NW from 23rd Street to Paul Bunyan Drive, where revisions are being considered for intersections near high-traffic businesses.

City staff recognized critical collision areas along the highlighted streets and believe roundabouts will create safer roads for drivers. The proposal includes a set of alternative designs for each of the corridors.

“[We’re looking at] alternatives right now that involve roundabouts that in this instance are going to help ease some of that tension that we’re seeing,” said Bemidji Director of Public Works Sam Anderson. “We’re very aware that Middle School Drive and Hannah Avenue currently have some issues at the PM peak time. ”

The Hannah Avenue and Middle School Drive project is set to start in 2025, and the Highway 197 project will carry on afterwards. More information on the proposal can be found on the City of Bemidji website.

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