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2001 Environmental Excellence Awards

Excellence in Livable Communities

map of portion of project area

Minnesota Department of Transportation City of Bemidji SEH, Inc.

This highway section in north-central Minnesota is an important commerce corridor and serves as the gateway to the greater Bemidji area, where a substantial portion of the local economy is dependent upon tourism and recreation. Improvements to the roadway were necessary for traffic safety and congestion. A Project Advisory Committee was established from agency representatives, business owners, and residents who helped guide the project development process and define the key natural, cultural, and community resource concerns. The final reconstruction plan features an extensive aesthetic enhancement component with native plantings and design treatments that reflect the area's natural setting. A bioengineered-based shoreline protection plan used both structural and biological measures to reduce shoreline erosion and blend the project into the natural environment. Through their combined efforts to proactively engage the community and build partnerships, Minnesota Department of Transportation and the City of Bemidji were able to effectively assess the community impacts and develop a reconstruction plan that truly satisfies the transportation need while preserving the community's character.

Project Contributors

Minnesota Department of Transportation Joe Hudak Joe McKinnon

City of Bemidji Mike Metso

SEH Chris Hiniker

Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe

Red Lake Nation

White Earth Band of Ojibwe

Upper Sioux Community

Updated: 10/24/2012
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