In a joint effort, four entities - Pequot Lakes, Breezy Point, Ideal Township and Jenkins Township - are collaborating on how best to improve four area roads that travel through those jurisdictions - Akerson, Nelson, Wild Acres and Buschmann roads.

Two open houses to share information and answer questions about a cooperative road study being done regarding possible improvements to those roads will be held Wednesday, May 26:

  • 4:30-6 p.m. at Pequot Lakes City Hall.

  • 7-8:30 p.m. at Breezy Point City Hall.

There won't be a formal presentation, but rather information to look at and people available to answer any questions. Pop-up meetings with staff in communities are also planned, and a project website will go live soon with information.

An engineering study is currently underway, but no specific plans are yet being presented, and no decisions have been made regarding potential improvement projects.

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The roads are in the following jurisdictions:

  • Pequot Lakes: Akerson, Nelson, Wild Acres.

  • Breezy Point: Buschmann.

  • Ideal Township: Wild Acres, Nelson and Buschmann.

  • Jenkins Township: Wild Acres.

For several years, each jurisdiction has discussed various issues associated with this network of roads, including high traffic volumes, high traffic speeds, heavy agricultural use, steep grades, blind approaches, deteriorating structural and surface conditions, and safety concerns due to alignment, size and increased usage.

Other issues are ongoing maintenance costs and increased use of this road network that connects County Roads 16 and 112 in the west to County Road 11 in the east.

Discussions have been held regarding what it would take to bring this network of roads up to county state aid standards so Crow Wing County could possibly take them over.

After seeking requests for proposals, the four jurisdictions hired Bolton & Menk engineering firm to conduct a study along the entire road network corridor that will provide estimates of costs and alignment options for each jurisdiction.

Leaders in all jurisdictions agree work needs to be done on the roads’ deteriorating conditions, and consensus is moving forward cooperatively would be best.

The road study cost totaled $102,526. Pequot Lakes' share is $46,546; Breezy Point, $29,630; Ideal Township, $20,505; and Jenkins Township, $5,845.

Pequot Lakes and Breezy Point each received a $10,000 grant from Sourcewell toward the study.

Breezy Point also entered into a separate agreement with Bolton & Menk for an additional $10,000 to study Ranchette Drive, agreeing that if Buschmann Road is improved it is likely that Ranchette Drive would see high traffic volumes.

The May 26 open house in Breezy Point will address both of those roads.

Nancy Vogt may be reached at 218-855-5877 or nancy.vogt@pineandlakes.com. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Nancy.