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Boreal Community Media

MnDOT road construction projects scheduled for Cook County

May 03, 2019 06:05AM ● By Editor
By Brian Larsen of The Cook County News Herald - May 3, 2019

The rumble strip project for Cook County is planned to begin in middle to late August 2019, said Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) spokesperson Morris Luke, who added when asked, “Yes. All rumble strips will be the sinusoidal type.”

When the project was first announced, local residents living alongside or near Highway 61 were worried that MnDOT would install traditional rumble strips that create external noise that can cause quality of life issues. 

Sinusoidal rumble strips, however, are much quieter than traditional rumble strips. Luke said MnDOT calls them “mumble strips.”

Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) plans to install shoulder rumble strips on highways with paved shoulders four feet wide or greater to increase safety by preventing run off the road crashes on highways with speed limits 55 mph or greater.

This season 31.3 miles of standard rumble strips and 10.5 miles of sinusoidal rumble strips will be placed on Highway 61 shoulders in Cook County, with 16 miles in the east end of the county that will be installed at a future date. 

Grand Marais project

Starting in the winter 2019/2020 Luke said tree clearing along corridors at select locations will begin in Grand Marais.

That work will be part of MnDOT’s 11.23-mile project that will start 1.8 miles north of Cutface Creek and end 0.1 miles south of County Road 14.

Construction for 2020 will include work starting south of the 8th Avenue West intersection (includes the 8th Avenue West intersection as well) and work will take place north of the Broadway intersection and will include the Broadway intersection as well. 

2021 construction

Work will take place between 8th Avenue West and Broadway, said Luke, adding, “There will be detours for the work being done in Grand Marais.”

MnDOT has proposed to install or upgrade curb ramps at intersections; extend culverts further from the sidewalk; install new sidewalk on the south side of Highway 61 from Broadway Avenue to 5th Avenue East; replace sidewalk on the north side of Highway 61 from 8th Avenue West to Broadway Avenue; extend bike trail from 3rd Avenue West to Broadway Avenue on the south side of Hwy 61; install pedestrian push buttons at the traffic signal at Broadway Avenue. 

From Wisconsin to Broadway new storm sewers will replace old ones, a continuation to upgrade the sidewalk, so it is ADA compliant will continue on the north side of the highway. New pavement will be installed, and Highway 61 will be narrowed through this stretch, with access improvements made to businesses. The signal will be replaced at Broadway and left turn lanes installed at Broadway.

From Broadway to the Gunflint Trail the plan is to continue ADA sidewalk improvements with a new ADA compliant sidewalk built on the south side of the Highway. Again, Highway 61 will be narrowed through this stretch and enhancements will be made to turn lanes into the business. The culvert at the Gunflint Trail will be replaced, and drainage improvements will be made that should reduce the flooding that takes place in the parking lot by the Co-op.

Last, from the Gunflint Trail to the east end there will be drainage improvements and a continuation of the bituminous mill overlay.

Along with the road improvement project, the city will add new street lights, bike racks, park benches, plant trees and make other improvements through a streetscape grant and use money from its own coffers to help pay for the upgrades.