Updated: 07/02/2014 7:48 PM
Created: 07/02/2014 4:36 PM WDIO.com
The complicated process of moving a major state highway for mining, is taking longer than expected. And that means the May, 2017 deadline to have a new roadway in place, is in jeopardy.
That's according to MnDOT's project manager, Roberta Dwyer.
"We continue to negotiate with the land owner and the mining company, and all the stakeholders, as we develop a construction schedule. When we look at the design, we will try and use techniques to expedite the project," Dwyer said.
What's taking longer than expected is the geo-technical work needed in the Rouchleau Pit. MnDOT needs to find out what kind of foundations could be put down into the pit, to support a road or bridge.
Companies who are interested in putting in those test foundations will be touring the site next Wednesday. The actual testing work is expected to begin in August.
Until all of that information is fully vetted, a decision cannot be made on where the best alternative will be.
United Taconite, which is owned by Cliffs Natural Resources, said they are disappointed with the delays. "We hope that MnDOT can address these concerns in a timely fashion, and that they can get back on track. It's extremely important to keep this project on schedule to avoid interfering with the mine operations," shared Sandy Karnowski, District Manager of Public Affairs for Cliffs.
Cost estimates are also higher than expected so far, ranging from $240 million to $460 million. MnDOT said they are looking a combination of state and federal funding to pay for the project.
U of M Reaches Milestone with Ash River Neutrino Detector
The University of Minnesota is celebrating a milestone in creating an experimental particle detector that it says could eventually yield important information about the beginning of the universe.
Missing Employee Found at Soudan Underground Mine State Park
Authorities have located 76-year-old Adrienne De Vries at the Soudan Underground Mine State Park. De Vries is an employee of the park, and lost her way when walking down a trail. The St. Louis County Sheriff's Department says she was transported to Ely Hospital to get checked as a precautionary.
Sky High: Northlanders Blast Off on New Flyboard
Here in the Northland, we're used to lakes, but a new toy is changing how we enjoy the water. The flyboard is making its Twin Ports debut. It's a water jet pack on a board that is hooked up to a jet ski. The water launches you up to 55 feet in the air.
One Killed in Douglas County Two-Vehicle Crash
A two-vehicle collision in Douglas County turned fatal Wednesday afternoon. Law enforcement on the scene confirmed with Eyewitness News that at least one person was killed.
Democrats Vying for Wisconsin's 25th Senate District Talk Mining
Mining is a top issue in northern Wisconsin's legislative races, and a formal debate Wednesday night was no exception. Three democrats vying for the 25th Senate District seat explained their views during a public debate at the Great Lakes Visitor Center in Ashland.