Hwy 2 – Cass Lake Corridor Study

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How do you use Hwy 2 in Cass Lake? View full-size mapSome may use it as a connector between Bemidji and Grand Rapids. Others may use it as a connection to people, neighborhoods, businesses, or even school. The safety of all who use this corridor is a growing concern. Could we make improvements that would provide a safer experience for all modes of transportation?

To answer that question we are conducting a planning study in partnership with the City of Cass Lake and the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. The study seeks to evaluate the potential improvement options available and develop a community-supported vision.

Check out the tabs below to interact and learn more about this study. Use the Forum to discuss ideas or the Map to drop a pin and discuss a specific location.

Don't hesitate to contact us directly, or use the Comments & Questions tab to pose questions for the good of the group. We look forward to hearing your input.

-Miigwech

How do you use Hwy 2 in Cass Lake? View full-size mapSome may use it as a connector between Bemidji and Grand Rapids. Others may use it as a connection to people, neighborhoods, businesses, or even school. The safety of all who use this corridor is a growing concern. Could we make improvements that would provide a safer experience for all modes of transportation?

To answer that question we are conducting a planning study in partnership with the City of Cass Lake and the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. The study seeks to evaluate the potential improvement options available and develop a community-supported vision.

Check out the tabs below to interact and learn more about this study. Use the Forum to discuss ideas or the Map to drop a pin and discuss a specific location.

Don't hesitate to contact us directly, or use the Comments & Questions tab to pose questions for the good of the group. We look forward to hearing your input.

-Miigwech

  • Study update: January 2023, Tell us what you think

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    With the help of a community panel, we have developed three design options, which take into account the traffic conditions today and in the future. Before developing the designs we analyzed the current conditions, and then asked community members to tell us about their experiences.

    rendering of what option 3 looks likeOption 3


    Developing the vision:

    Here’s what we thought about in developing the designs:

    • The community panel identified these core values for the vision of Highway 2:
      1. Economic development and prosperity
      2. Safe, calm, and predictable
      3. Connection to nature
      4. Sense of place, culture, and community
      5. Inviting, appealing, and lively
      6. Anchoring (People feel drawn to Cass Lake, and want to stay long-term)
    • Proven safety treatments to reduce the risk of crashes, including:
      1. Pedestrian crossing islands
      2. Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons
      3. Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons
      4. Crosswalk lighting
      5. Roundabouts
      6. Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridges (must be within the normal path for pedestrians and not be significantly out of the way)
    • Where people are currently walking across the highway: Designs that aim to connect people to commonly visited destinations
    • Vehicle traffic operations: All designs accommodate current and projected traffic volumes, and allow heavy freight vehicles to turn at intersections
    • Local expertise: Each design was reviewed by the community panel and updated in response to their ideas and concerns

    What’s next

    In the next phase of the study, we will develop and share a preferred option for a future vision of Highway 2 that reflects the community feedback.

  • How to participate

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    Share your input:

    1. See the design options and comment with your thoughts, questions, and ideas on this interactive display board
    2. Take the Survey to share your overall opinion on the design options
    3. You can share ideas, questions or concerns by clicking on the Comments & Questions tab
  • Option 1: Two-lane highway with linear park area on each side

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    • Driving Lanes
      • Two driving lanes with either a center turn lane or median
    • Hwy 2 intersections at Hwy 371 and at Grant Utley Ave
      • Roundabouts
    • Green space
      • Linear Park (forested) on south side of Hwy 2
      • Linear Park (meadow) on the north
    • Walking and biking space along highway
      • Multi-use path through the Linear Parks on each side of Hwy 2
      • Sidewalk on north side of Sixth St (frontage road)
    • Highway crossings for people walking and biking
      • Mid-block pedestrian crossings with flashing beacons
      • High-visibility crossings at roundabouts
    • Evaluation Criteria Ranking:

  • Option 2: Two-lane highway with linear park area on the south side

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    • Driving Lanes
      • Two driving lanes with either a center turn lane or median
    • Hwy 2 intersections at Hwy 371 and at Grant Utley Ave
      • Traffic signals
    • Green space
      • Linear Park (forested) south of Hwy 2
    • Walking and biking space along highway
      • Greenway shared-use trail through linear park on south side of Hwy 2
      • Sidewalk on north side of Sixth St (frontage road)
    • Highway crossings for people walking and biking
      • Mid-block pedestrian crossings with flashing beacons
      • Pedestrian crossings at traffic signals
    • Evaluation Criteria Ranking:

    Evaluation criteria ranking chart. The possible scores are minor, moderate or major. It shows that option 2 scores Economic Development/Prosperity as moderate. Safety, calm and predictable is major. Connection to nature is moderate. Sense of place, culture and community is major. Inviting, appealing, and lively is moderate. Lastly is anchoring and it scores major. So 3 score as Major and 3 as moderate




  • Option 3: Four-lane highway with pedestrian/bicycle bridge

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    Display graphic depicting the comments boardZoom in or add your input with this Interactive Comments Board

    • Driving Lanes
      • Four driving lanes with turn lanes at intersections
    • Hwy 2 intersections at Hwy 371 and at Grant Utley Ave
      • Traffic signals
    • Green space
      • Minimal
    • Walking and biking space along highway
      • Multi-use path south of Hwy 2
      • Sidewalk on north side of Sixth St (frontage road)
    • Highway crossings for people walking and biking
      • Pedestrian and bicycle overpass bridge
      • Pedestrian crossings at traffic signals
    • Evaluation Criteria Ranking:

    Evaluation criteria ranking chart. The possible scores are minor, moderate or major. It shows that option 3 scores Economic Development/Prosperity as moderate. Safety, calm and predictable is moderate. Connection to nature is minor. Sense of place, culture and community is minor. Inviting, appealing, and lively is minor. Lastly is anchoring and it scores minor. So 2 score as moderate and 4 as minor

  • How to participate

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    1. See the design options and comment with your thoughts, questions, and ideas on this interactive display board
    2. Take the Survey to share your overall opinion on the design options
    3. You can share ideas, questions or concerns by clicking on the Comments & Questions tab
  • Study Update: 9/22

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    Where is the study now?

    The steering committee held its second meeting with a goal to identify core values that will guide development of the safety concepts for the corridor alternatives. The team took part in interactive activities to help brainstorm ideas revolving around the culture of Cass Lake, pedestrian safety and a future vision for Hwy 2. Information was also shared about two additional studies that are that are separate, but relevant, to this one: the Cass Lake Redevelopment Plan and the Pedestrian Volume Study.Picture of the display layout the meeting participants wrote comments on


    What’s next?

    We will develop preliminary concepts based on those core values and share them at the next steering committee meeting in October, and then more broadly for additional input from the greater community. We will use this study and the recommended option to pursue funding for a project, which may take several years.


    How to participate

    1. Learn more about the study in the posts below
    2. Read the full summary and slides/visuals from the committee meeting in the Project Documents widget
    3. Take part in the brainstorming discussion on the forum tab
    4. Add your input onto the interactive map
  • Study purpose

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    We heard that safety and mobility for people walking and biking is a concern for the Band and community. The study will develop an improvement plan which sets us on a path toward securing funding for a future project that will bring the community’s vision for the corridor to life.

  • Study team

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    A steering committee of local stakeholders and community leaders are guiding the study team. Everyone that interacts with the Hwy 2 corridor in Cass Lake is invited to participate and provide input. Members of the committee include:

    • Mike Chosa, LLBO Communications Director (Chair)
    • Art Chase, LLBO Tribal Roads Director
    • Dr. Helen Montgomery, Leech Lake Tribal College President
    • Sue Chase, ISD #115, Superintendent
    • Matt Erickson, MD Pawn & Bait Owner
    • Lee Giffen, Pike Bay Township Supervisors
    • Brian McCoy, LLBO Tribal Development
    • John R. Herrera, LLBO
    • Darrick Anderson, Cass County Highway Department
    • Ryan White, Leech Lake Tribal College
    • Jason Helgeson, LLBO Environmental Department
    • Rick Haaland, Cass County Commissioner District 5
    • Sue Uhrinak, City of Cass LakeErnie Robinson, LLBO Transportation

    Check out the Project Documents to view the full public engagement plan for this study

  • Potential outcomes

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    We will determine a recommended option in consultation with community members and stakeholders. We'll use this study to determine the recommended option and then pursue funding. The process may take several years and will involve additional public outreach along with formal consent from the City of Cass Lake and the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe.

    You can share your ideas on the website at https://talk.dot.state.mn.us/hwy-2-cass-lake-corridor-study, in person at Cass Lake Local Indian Council meetings, and/or by contacting MnDOT’s District 2 Planning Director Jon Mason (jon.mason@state.mn.us; 218-407-1917), the study steering committee chair Mike Chosa (mike.chosa@llojibwe.net; 218-335-4483), or any member of the study steering committee.

Page last updated: 07 Feb 2023, 11:16 AM