The opening date for travel on the new C. Elmer Anderson Memorial Highway has changed.
According to Mike Travis, a Minnesota Department of Transportation spokesperson, the southbound lanes only of the Highway 371 Brainerd bypass or realignment will open late in the day on Aug. 9, the day of the new Highway 371 grand opening and dedication ceremonies.
The northbound lanes likely will open on Aug. 11.
Travis said the entire roadway won't be completely open until Aug. 11 because MnDOT workers need time to finish work at that south junction and to switch traffic to the new signalized intersection.
The grand opening and dedication of the new Highway 371, sponsored by the Brainerd Area Chambers of Commerce and MnDOT, will begin at 10:30 a.m. Aug. 9, about a half-mile north of the southern junction of the new highway near Barrows in the northbound driving lanes.
This hour-long ceremony is open to the public.
Afterwards, all of those who attend the ceremony will be given the opportunity to drive north on the new Highway 371 in a caravan to the Black Bear Lodge and Saloon where an informal reception will run from about 11:45 a.m. until 1 p.m. Aug. 9.
Travis said a monster truck from Kart Kountry at Vacationland in Brainerd will join the caravan as well as a few stock cars from North Central Motor Speedway in Brainerd.
A plane with a sky banner also will fly overhead during the grand opening.
Travis said motorists attempting to sneak onto the new roadway before it is officially opened will be turned away by the State Patrol or area police officers.
Those attending the grand opening, he said, should wear comfortable shoes for walking to the ceremony, held on the new highway.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.