Traffic officials in the Brainerd lakes area are asking motorists to slow down, pay attention and be alert to traffic slow-downs and lane closures on Highway 371 at Gull Lake’s Hole-In-The-Day Bay and areas around the Brainerd International Raceway (BIR) Jan. 25. Heavy traffic is anticipated that day during the Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza.
Highway 371 traffic will be single lane at Gull Lake to allow for a shuttle bus/vehicle drop off site. Contest participants and spectators are encouraged to use the shuttle service, which is provided from BIR north of Baxter.
Those motorists not involved with the contest are encouraged to use an alternate route during the event if possible. All motorists are urged to drive with caution, watch for signs and be prepared for sudden stops.
Shuttles are available to the main fishing area and are located at BIR and in Nisswa at County Road 77. Shuttles for disabled persons are only available at the BIR shuttle location. More specific information, including parking and shuttles can be obtained by visiting http://icefishing.org/.
“Every year, we have some brief periods of congestion and traffic slow-downs, especially a couple hours before the contest and immediately after for about an hour,” said Lt. Brad Bordwell, Minnesota State Patrol.
Extra DWI patrols will be working in conjunction with this year’s event. Planning ahead is encouraged, along with reporting drivers believed to be impaired.
The State Patrol reports that there are usually no major incidents on the highway during the contest.
MNDOT, State Patrol, Department of Natural Resources, Cass and Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Offices, Nisswa Police Department and other agencies will be on scene controlling traffic and patrolling the area throughout the event.