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Construction on U.S. Hwy 71 and Hwy 197 in Bemidji begins June 14

BEMIDJI, Minn. - Motorists can expect some minor delays as a project to improve and expand Highway 197 and U.S. Highway 71 beginning from the south end of Bemidji and extending to Hubbard County Road 9 begins Monday, June 14.

Lane width restrictions on Highway 197, beginning south of the railroad crossing and junction with Beltrami County Road 50, will extend for 1.7 miles south with intermittent use of flagging operations.

A detour for U.S. Hwy 71 is planned to be in place on or around July 6th and will last into late August. The detour route will direct northbound traffic one mile west on Hubbard County Road 9, then three miles north on Hubbard County Road 98, and one mile east on Beltrami County Road 2 to Highway 71. Southbound traffic will use this same detour in reverse.

The project includes grading, bituminous reclamation and surfacing, concrete retaining walls, lighting and a new bridge over U.S. Highway 2.

Access to all businesses and residences will be maintained throughout the construction zone.

No overweight or over width permits will be issued for this project. In the event of special circumstances, please call Mn/DOT Permits Office at 218-755-6553.

The project will last through the 2010 construction season and resume again in 2011. The project is scheduled to be completed by June 15, 2011.

The first of weekly contractor public information meetings concerning the project is scheduled to be held at the Mn/DOT headquarters, 3920 Highway 2 West, in Bemidji on Thursday, June 17th from 1 - 2 p.m.

For statewide construction and road condition information, visit or call 5-1-1.