The much-anticipated Highway 108 and 59 reconstruction project will be front and center April 8, for an online, virtual town meeting. 

The Minnesota Department of Transportation will host the public meeting Thursday, April 8, at 5:30 p.m., to provide information on the 2024 reconstruction project on Highway 59/108 in Pelican Rapids. 

A formal presentation by MnDOT will begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by time for questions. 

MNDOT’s Tom Pace, who has been working closely with the Pelican city council throughout the planning, said the presentation is expected to be about 45 minutes—including discussion of several options for the various portions of the project. 

Turn lanes, sidewalks, and the proposed “roundabouts” will be among the topics, said Pace at the March 30 city council meeting. 

He anticipates that the downtown business district, between the two stoplights, will be among the most discussed portions of the extensive project. 

“We will present both the negatives and the positives to the various scenarios,” said Pace. 

The possibility of three “roundabouts” has brought mixed reactions from the public and the council. Described as “mini-roundabouts,” the two downtown signal intersections have been proposed. According to Pace, the roundabouts eliminate signal light systems—which can cost up to  $400,000 each.  “New signal systems are very expensive,” said Pace. 

A third roundabout has been suggested for the north end of the town, at the intersection of County Road 9 and Highway 59. This would not require a signal light, but would function similar to those on Highway 59 south of Detroit Lakes. 

Cost estimates are expected to be completed by January of 2022, said Pace. Very preliminary projections are $20 million for the MnDOT portion of the project. City and local taxpayer costs are unknown, but the underground sewer, water and utility upgrades that will be in conjunction with the highway project are expected to be at least $6 million. 

For a link to the virtual meeting on April 8, visit 

Those without internet access can call 1-855-282-6330 to join the meeting. Meeting access code is 187 804 2419. 

For those unable to attend the meeting, a recording of the presentation will be posted to the MnDOT project webpage, with an opportunity to submit questions or comments online.

Key 59-108 project elements    

• Resurface Highways 59 and 108 in Pelican Rapids

• Proposed downtown Complete Streets reconstruction

• Resurface bridge

• Utility replacement

• Sidewalk improvements

• Bicycle and ADA accessibility upgrades

Preliminary Cost Estimate $15-20 million, plus at least $6 million in costs to Pelican city properties, for upgrade sewer, water, etc. 

Project contacts

Tom Pace, MnDOT Project Manager  218-846-3627

Bryan Christensen, MnDOT Public Engagement 218-846-3609

For more information about the project visit