Thief River Falls/MNDOT Construction Meeting


The first meeting was held at noon this past Monday with the Thief River Falls city council and the Minnesota Department Of Transportation.

Mayor Brian Holmer began the meeting,  “the city has a strong relationship with MNDOT, the county and the Red Lake watershed. We are getting the biggest bang with all these groups working together.”


The new construction from the railroad tracks by the American Legion west to near Petro Pumper will begin June 1st starting at the railroad tracks. The MNDOT needs to be done with the first stage which is up to Barzen Ave,  by July 10th for the Pennington county fair, hopefully complete by October 9th.  There is some concern about overhead lighting on the three round-a-bouts being finished by winter.

The new culverts will get started around May 18th with completion by July 1st.

The MNDOT will resurface US Hwy 1 from Northland College to Goodridge starting the middle of August. They will also be resurfacing Hwy 32 from Thief River Falls to St. Hilaire starting around the middle of May.


Mid May they will start with the construction of the round-a-bout at the corner of Pennington Ave and County Road 8, the Challenger school corner. When school gets out that intersection will be closed down to traffic. Also, during this time, the new road, and bridge will be built through the summer, along with another round-a-bout on Hwy 32 at the Brodin corner.


There was talk about the 8th street project during the meeting.

The MNDOT has received a lot of complaints about the center lines being moved over to one side and lost parking spots on the south side of the road by Erl’s Market.  Snowplows are having a difficult time making the turns from Main St to 8th street.  There will be more discussion on 8th street coming this spring.

Also discussed was enacting calendar parking on all city and state streets and highways starting November 15th through March 15th. It is much safer for everyone if vehicles are off the road during snow removal.  There is no parking downtown from 2am to 6am, and calendar parking on city streets from 6am to 9am.


Concern was also voiced that construction may cause problems for emergency medical services reaching calls for service.MNDOT will be host public, informational meetings prior to construction of each portion.


Future plans from MNDOT include work on Hwy 59 from the Holiday corner to the south to the casino corner. They will be looking at drainage, storm sewer, different signals, frontage roads and ditch removal-along with another round-a-bout in the city of Thief River Falls and at the casino corner at HIghway 59 south and Center Street.


A second meeting of the council was held Monday night concerning 2020 street and other improvements.


There are two components to the new construction and improvements to streets and utilities.

Minnesota Hwy 1 and 59 to Kinney Ave has been discussed since 2016 with safety concerns. Public meetings were held throughout the development with property owners. This project has been coordinated with the West side drainage diversion project.

This project places partial financial responsibility with the city for local road intersections, frontage roads, street lighting and water main replacement, and consent was given at the December 30th meeting.

The total estimated cost to the city is $1,354,000. With funding coming from federal aid, municipal state aid and bonding or internal financing. Properties that benefit from the project would be assessed 80% of the frontage road improvements. Full mill and bituminous resurfacing is estimated at $22 per frontage while new street construction is estimated at $212 per frontage foot.

The second component was the Franklin Middle school multi-use trail. The city was awarded a safe-route to school grant to construct a trail from Greenwood street to Edgewood Drive to the east side of Franklin.  A second trail would be constructed from Edgewood drive to Spruce Ave along the south side of Gulf street. The total estimated project cost is $185,000. With a $148,000 grant and a $37,000 in bonding or internal financing.

The bid opening for the Franklin school trail is planned for May 7th with construction to start in late May and completion by late August.

The MNDOT bids bids will be opened on April 24th with construction starting in May and completion this fall.


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