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US Highway 71 construction in Bemidji near completion

The Minnesota Department of Transportation has announced that the construction project along U.S. Highway 71 in Bemidji has entered its fourth and final phase.

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Construction continues along U.S. Highway 71 on June 28, 2022, as crews work to install a roundabout at the Anne Street intersection.
Annalise Braught / Bemidji Pioneer
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BEMIDJI — The Minnesota Department of Transportation has announced that the U.S. Highway 71 construction project in Bemidji is near completion.

This Highway 71 corridor, from Highway 197 to Winter Sumac Road, will include intersection improvements of Reduced Conflict Intersections and a roundabout at Anne Street.

Motorists on Highway 71 can now access all four legs of the roundabout on Anne Street, and north and southbound lanes are open for traffic.

The inside lanes remain closed for median construction, which will go through project completion in early October.

During median construction, motorists can use the signed detours, Irvine Avenue ramps or the Anne Street roundabout.

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More information about the project and its progress can be found on MNDOT's website on the project's page.

Project benefits and cost

Benefits of the project include a safer road, smoother and longer-lasting driving surface, as well as intersection and pedestrian improvements to enhance safety for all users.

According to MnDOT, studies show an 86% decrease in fatal crashes at roundabouts and a 70% reduction in fatalities where J-turns are used. To learn more about roundabouts or how a J-turn works, and review their safety benefits, visit MnDOT’s Roundabout web page or MnDOT’s Reduced Conflict Intersections web page.

Knife River is the contractor for the $16.6 million project. Construction is scheduled to be completed in October.

Work zone reminder

  • Slow down when approaching every work zone
  • Never enter a roadway that has been blocked with barriers or cones
  • Stay alert; watch for workers and slow-moving equipment
  • Obey posted speed limits; fine for a work zone violation is $300
  • Minimize distractions behind the wheel
  • Be patient and expect delays, especially during peak travel times 

MnDOT reminds drivers to slow down, avoid distractions and follow traffic signs in work zones.

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Other times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.

For questions about a staff report, call (218) 333-9796 or email news@bemidjipioneer.com.
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