Highway 27 rerouted to I-94
As of November 1, Highway 27 has been rerouted and will no longer run through Osakis. The state highway now follows Interstate 94 from the east side of Osakis to the west side of Alexandria.
The stretch of Highway 27 that ran between Osakis and Alexandria has been transferred to Douglas County and will now become an extension of Douglas County Road 82.
The former stretch of road known as Highway 127 - on the east side of Osakis - is now Highway 27.
According to the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), the changes are part of a larger road jurisdictional transfer recommended in the Alexandria Area 2030 Transportation Study.
Signs along the route will change in early 2013, but maintenance has already shifted to Douglas County.
Douglas County Public Works Director Dave Robley told the Review the reroute has been in the works for a long time.
"[Highway 27] is a parallel route to I-94 so they've been interested in finalizing that project since the mid-1960s," Robley said. "Ultimately it cleans up the system.
Osakis Chamber of Commerce President Phil Reed said the reroute of Highway 27 may have a small effect if people use a GPS and look for the most traveled route from Alexandria or to Long Prairie, but travelers will still know they're in Osakis, as the Chamber maintains the signs both North and South on Highway 27.
"I don't think that it will have a terrible effect but it remains to be seen. About 10 percent of our chamber members are located on Highway 27 and in the downtown area, and while every member is important, some I have talked with don't think it is going to be a concern. I believe businesses like this will endure because patrons know who they are and the good products and service they provide. The local community is their support base. They may lose an occasional passerby, but that is not what makes them go out of or stay in business," Reed said.
Robley added, "The roads are still there and unless you wanted to follow Highway 27, people who drive Highway 27 every day now will drive County Road 82. The road will still be there, we'll maintain it. That part of it won't change it's just the numbers that will change."
What will change, however, are addresses for people along the new section of County Road 82. In the rural area, the addresses will change from Highway 27 to County Road 82.
There are other road changes in the works in Douglas County.
STATE TO COUNTY
A- Approximately 1.89 miles of old Highway 27 beginning at CSAH 45 east of Interstate 94 and west of Trunk Highway 29 has been designated as CSAH 46. CSAH 46 will continue from Highway 29 approximately 1.06 miles east to the Soo Line Railroad west right of way line; this section is also known as 34th Avenue in Alexandria.
B - Approximately .75 miles of road between CSAH 22, at the fairgrounds entrance, along 3rd Avenue in Alexandria to Highway 29 (Broadway Street) will be numbered as CSAH 82.
C- Approximately 11.23 miles of Highway 27 beginning at Highway 29, Nokomis Street, in Alexandria continuing to the intersection of Highway 127 on the east side of Osakis will be established as CSAH 82.
COUNTY TO CITY
D - Approximately 1.81 miles of CSAH 44 beginning at CSAH 22 going north and east to CSAH 42 will be revoked by the county and reverted to the city of Alexandria.
E - Approximately 3.42 miles of County Road 70 will be turned back to the city of Alexandria. Included is an approximately 2.24 mile long portion of East Golf Course Road and South LeHomme Dieu Drive at the intersection of CSAH 42 continuing to Highway 29; a .47 mile stretch of Government Point Road concluding at the intersection of Boys and Van Avenues; and a .71 length of road from Highway 29 along McKay Avenue to South LeHomme Dieu Drive.
F - Approximately 1.45 miles of County Road 106 west of the Soo Line Railroad along 50th Avenue and then north along Pioneer Road in Alexandria to the CSAH 46 intersection will be revoked by the county and reverted to the city of Alexandria.
CITY TO COUNTY
G - Approximately .41 miles on McKay Avenue, beginning south of 6th Avenue in Alexandria and ending at CSAH 82, has also been designated a section of CSAH 46.
H - Approximately 1.17 miles of CSAH 82 from McKay Avenue to the intersection of Highway 29 in Alexandria will be renumbered from CSAH 43 to CSAH 46. This will make CSAH 46 a continuous route between Highway 27 west and Highway 29 north.
Highway 127 will become Highway 27.
Highway 27 between I94 and Highway 29/Broadway Street will become Douglas County Road 46 and addressed as 34th Avenue.
Highway 27 from Highway 29/Nokomis Street in Alexandria to Osakis will become Douglas County Road 82.
Echo Press Reporter Crystal Dey contributed to this report.