Locals prepare for Highway 61 construction
May 30, 2018 06:42AM ● Published by Editor
The first construction phase starts from Two Harbors to Silver Creek tunnel and includes Campground Road. Photo: WDIO-TV
By Alejandra Palacios of From WDIO-TV - May 29, 2018
TWO HARBORS- As construction is getting started in Two Harbors for Highway 61, businesses and community members are prepping for traffic jams and detours.
"I think the main plan is involved with the word patience," Keith Anderson, the Two Harbors Area Chamber of Commerce activities director, said.
The first construction phase starts Tuesday and will go from Two Harbors to Silver Creek tunnel and includes Campground Road.Making road conditions tough for commuters, a single lane of traffic in each direction will be maintained for the duration of the project on Highway 61.
"This will probably be affecting and make it way worse because it can take 30 minutes to get through town if there’s a lot of traffic," Samantha Etienne, a Burlington Bay Campground employee, said.
The construction has local businesses worried about the impact.
"The main concern that all of the businesses along the seventh avenue have is when the street is in the middle of the construction phase, will it affect the parking so that customers can get in and out of the stores," Gina Schluneger, a Moose-Cellaneous Gifts employee, said.
The three phase project includes pavement, culvert, and sewer work. It also includes sidewalk improvement, replacing signs, and adding left turn lanes.
"There’s a lot of congestion, a lot of near miss accidents. There's quite a few accidents because there aren't really a lot of turn lanes and it's really more of a safety precaution, the construction," Anderson said.
Locals are finding ways to work around the construction.
"When the parking is reduced, we're going to speak with other businesses and see if we can put on social media different areas where costumers are allowed to park," Schluneger said.
"Most of the residents are used to it. Our traffic in the summer time increases greatly, so it's not a new thing to us," Anderson said.
Community members are focusing on the positive impact the project will leave.
"It will be a little bit of a struggle during the process, but in the end it looks like it's going to work out really well for us," Schluneger said.
"I think the tourists for sure will be really excited about the changes. Maybe not in the moment of dealing with construction, but eventually," Etienne said.
Updated: May 27, 2018 10:52 PM
Watch the news report here.