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Expect congestion on Brainerd lakes area roads this week as BIR draws thousands of race fans

Motorists are advised to be patient, expect delays and extra law enforcement, consider staggering their travel times and watch for slow traffic on Highway 371 and other area roadways

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BAXTER — Motorists should plan for heavy traffic volumes and congestion on Highway 371 and other Brainerd lakes area roads in Crow Wing County this week, Aug. 15-21.

With some local roads closed for construction and more than 100,000 visitors expected to attend the 40th annual Lucas Oil National Hot Rod Association Nationals race at Brainerd International Raceway the week of Aug. 15, more congestion is expected in Brainerd and Baxter than during past event weekends.

Motorists planning to travel in the Brainerd/Baxter area should be patient, expect delays and extra law enforcement, consider staggering their travel times and watch for slow traffic on Highway 371 and other area roadways.

Recurring congestion and occasional stop-and-go traffic is expected on Highway 371 between Brainerd and Nisswa. Motorists are advised to take alternative routes, if possible.

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Also be aware of these area state highway projects:


  • Highway 371 east of Gull Lake, Brainerd : Work operations are suspended between Gull Lake Dam Road (Crow Wing County Road 125) and Green Gables Road (County Road 126) until Monday morning, Aug. 22.

Off-road may occur. BIR is located within this work zone area.
Those traveling through the area should expect orange barrels, equipment and changes to access. Stay out of closed areas and do not remove any traffic control devices.

Detour uses Highway 371 to Baxter, Highway 210/Washington Street back to Business Highway 371/South Sixth Street. Access is open to those who live, work or visit those along the work zone.
For current construction in central Minnesota, visit www.mndot.gov/d3/construct/ . For real-time travel information anywhere in Minnesota, visit 511mn.org or get the free smartphone app at Google Play or the App Store .

Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "Pineandlakes Echo Journal." Often, the "Pineandlakes Echo Journal" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.

Send us your news or story ideas by emailing nancy.vogt@pineandlakes.com or calling 218-855-5877. Be sure to leave a message!
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