Minnesota Department of Transportation

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May 6, 2024

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MnDOT Hwy 371 and 34 Walker Corridor Study seeks public input on preferred alternative

BEMIDJI, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Transportation is asking the public to complete a survey and provide input on the preferred alternatives proposed for Highways 371 and 34 in Walker. The project study has been underway since August 2023. The Community Review Panel (CRP) has met three times, providing feedback and input on the corridor.

During public outreach in the fall of 2023, the following priority areas were identified as the greatest need:

  1. Mainline and side street traffic flow
  2. Parking/Business Access
  3. Safety
  4. Pedestrian/Bicycle Access
  5. Costs associated with improvements

Based on these priority areas, the project team has developed roadway alternatives for different segments of the corridor. Please take a few minutes to review corridor concepts and rate your preference on each one. The survey can be found at www.inputcentral.com/walker-hwy-371-corridor-study.

The project team will also be available for input and comments at the following pop-up events on May 10 and 11 in Walker:

  • May 10:
    • Portage Brewing Company, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
  • May 11:
    • Village Square Pizza & Ice Cream Parlor, 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
    • Northern Lights Casino, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

About the Project
Walker lies on the southwest coast of Leech Lake providing a community for 1,000 residents year around and thousands of visitors during recreational periods in all four seasons. Highways 371 and 34 provide access from Walker connecting to Bemidji, Brainerd, Detroit Lakes, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe land, Paul Bunyan State Forest, and many other travel destinations. While many trips are regional travel that create congestion, they are crucial to the local economy of Walker. MnDOT is working to establish a vision for both corridors through the study. Once that vision is established, MnDOT will work with the City to identify road projects that will likely include a reconstruction of the downtown between 2029-2030 and a pavement project in the rural segment after the downtown has been completed.
Current corridor conditions:

  • Roadway pavement is nearing end of its useful life.
  • Peak recreational traffic adds congestion and significant delays.
  • Traffic can range from 4,300 to over 12,000 vehicles per day in peak times.
  • Fatal and serious injury crashes have increased in recent years south of downtown

To learn more about the project, visit the project website https://talk.dot.state.mn.us/hwy-371-walker , where you can sign up for email updates, review information and submit comments and questions. 

MnDOT and the City of Walker invite and encourage participation by all. If you need an ASL, foreign language interpreter, or other reasonable accommodation, or need documents in an alternative format (such as braille or large print), email your request to ADArequest@state.mn.us or call 651-366-4720.