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Construction Begins on Last Major St. Louis Co. Road Damaged by 2012 Floods

Updated: 04/22/2014 11:26 PM
Created: 04/22/2014 11:24 PM WDIO.com

While the devastating floods of 2012 may be a distant memory for some, there are still some visible scars left - including on one western Duluth road. 

57th Avenue West and Highland Street is the last major St. Louis County road still damaged by the flooding.

The stretch connects West Duluth and Hermantown, and about 5,200 people travel it per day.  

Construction on the 1.5 mile stretch is set to begin Wednesday.

People aren't usually excited about road construction, but county officials say this project is different.  

"The people are very excited about this project," explained Steve Krasaway, a resident engineer with St. Louis County. "It's going to be a very pedestrian-friendly corridor now. Highland Street is going to have additional sidewalks, wider shoulders, it will be a combination through the Superior Hiking Trail under our new bridge on Keene Creek, and we're adding additional parking at Skyline (rd) to accommodate bicyclists and hikers.

The estimated $10.7 million project is the second largest ever for the county, but they say residents won't be taxed any extra for it. Much of the cost is covered by flood bonding. 

The roadway, also known as County State Aid Highway 89, will be closed for the duration of the project. It is expected to be completed by the end of October.

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