Highway 2 Detour Could Overshadow Water Carnival
When the U.S. Highway 2 resurfacing project began on May 15, it was expected to be completed well before the start of Bemidji’s six day long 4th of July celebration so that its detour through downtown Bemidji would ease traffic and not impact the event. But due to a scheduling conflict with the project contractor, a two-week delay has pushed the project back over the 4th of July holiday weekend.
The closure of the U.S. Highway 2 bypass bridge on the northwest side of Bemidji will funnel an additional 9,000 vehicles on U.S. Highway 197 through downtown Bemidji, creating a need to be more alert while driving.
For the Bemidji Jaycees, who put on the annual 4th of July Water Carnival, this year’s event has had its challenges, which is why the carnival will be held in two locations. The detour through downtown is expected to impact both locations.
With a major detour running along Paul Bunyan Drive in downtown Bemidji, the Bemidji Jaycees are looking for a silver lining, thinking that an additional 9,000 cars traveling by their carnival could be a good thing.
The detour is expected to begin around June 7 and last up to thirty days. The Bemidji Jaycees 73rd Annual Water Carnival will run this year from June 29th through July 4th.