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As DL grows, so do its roads -- MnDOT takes look at highways to west and south

Only a few members of the public came to hear about a planning study for Highway 59 South and Highway 10 west of Detroit Lakes Thursday evening.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation, City of Detroit Lakes and Becker County are partnering for the study to include several key areas.

"The reason we're here today, we hired a consultant and we wanted to look at a lot of the transportation and safety issues in that region (west of town). It encompasses (highway) 59 to the west side of long lake and goes down to County Road 6," MnDOT District 4 Planning Director Shiloh Wahl said.

"Looking at that area, it's looking at transportation issues we could see in the next 25-30 years and trying to address them now versus waiting for something to happen," he continued.

Some of the key areas include improvements to service roads and reductions in direct highway access on Highway 10 and Highway 59, Airport Road intersections at Highway 59 and Willow Street, Highway 59 and County Road 22 and Highway 34 and Washington Avenue.

Thursday was the first of three public meetings that will be held on the study. The next is planned for May. MnDOT's Web site (

/d4/projects/dlstudy/) is asking for input and giving information about the project.

"This is a big-picture thinking process," said Jack Broz, consultant with HR Green Company.

He said that although no one knows what the future might bring, this is a way of planning a framework for some changes.

"We're not here tonight to recommend any project," Broz assured. "But, we do know that as you go to build a project in the future, it will be funded based on its success in its measurements in its certain categories."

Federal, state, city and county are all part of the decision-making process and their needs must be taken into account, he said.

Broz asked for input from the community because Detroit Lakes isn't his residence and he needs to know what the public wants to see.

A survey can be found at, requesting input.