Compromise Plan Announced for Hwy 169 Project Near Ely

Updated: 07/17/2014 11:12 PM
Created: 07/17/2014 11:11 PM

Environmental concerns have slowed the long-awaited safety project for Highway 169 near Ely. But on Thursday, Congressman Rick Nolan (D-Minn.) says that a compromise plan is in the works. 

In a statement, Nolan said that the plan will address the main concerns brought by drivers, environmental interests, and local residents.

He says the plan "probably includes a route that puts an end to the terribly dangerous black ice that now covers the road along the west end in winter, and that minimizes the sulfide rock along the middle and east end. There are a few curves that need to be straightened out, and a shoulder or two that need to be widened a couple feet."

The full details of the plan are expected to be made public shortly.

Even with only a tentative agreement announced, Minnesota's senators are saying they are happy the project is moving forward.

"I'm pleased that these new route proposals reflect the input from the community," Sen. Amy Klobuchar said in a statement. "This is real progress for the project."

"I've been pushing to get this project moving, and I'm happy to see this step forward," Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) added.

Rep. Nolan said his information comes from officials at the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, and local stakeholders. 

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