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MnDOT Decides to Rebuild Highway Destroyed by Flood

Updated: 06/03/2014 10:39 PM
Created: 06/03/2014 10:15 AM WDIO.com

Two years after floods destroyed a two-mile section of Minnesota Highway 210 in Jay Cooke State Park, the Minnesota Department of Transportation has decided to rebuild the highway.

The stretch of road connects the park with Duluth and provides access to some eastern parts of the park.  MnDOT had considered not rebuilding the stretch.

"It's a relatively low-volume road," Assistant District Engineer Todd Campbell said. "It doesn't carry much commercial traffic and the fix could be quite expensive."

MnDOT conducted a survey and found the vast majority of people wanted Highway 210 to be rebuilt.

"It will make it a lot easier for the people that live in Fond du Lac or come from 23," Park Manager Gary Hoeft said. "You won't need to come through Wrenshall or go through Duluth to get here."

Work is expected to begin in summer 2015 and be completed in 2016, meaning the highway will have been closed for four years by the time it reopens.

The cost of the project is not yet known, but is expected to be funded with a mix of federal and state emergency funds. 

While support to build the road is there, it's still going to be tricky.

"It's a road that's built on the side of a steep hill," Campbell said. "The soil is relatively unstable."

Campbell said they'll have to make hills less steep to prevent slides.

"It's going to continue to be scenic, but in some areas it will be more wide open," Campbell said.

More information on the project is available at http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d1/projects/Hwy210future/index.html.

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