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Highway 61 Construction Project in Grand Portage is now underway

Jul 17, 2020 05:34PM ● By Editor
From the Minnesota Department of Transportation - July 17, 2020

The major Highway 61 road construction project from just beyond Big Bay to the Canadian Border and including all of the Grand Portage area on Highway 61 is now underway.   The project is located on Highway 61 between the Reservation River Road and the US/Canadian Border, a distance of approximately 17 miles.

MN Dot outlines the following benefits of the two year project which has a budget of almost $15 million.
  • Improved safety
  • Better accessibility
  • Smoother ride
  • Improved drainage
The project overview includes:  
  • Restore the structural integrity of the roadway and improve the ride. The existing pavement will be reclaimed/ground up with a new bituminous surface then placed over the top.
  • Replace or repair culverts that are in poor condition.
  • Replace the culvert(s) at Hollow Rock Creek with a new single-span bridge that will decrease flooding potential and improve fish passage.
  • Replace the culvert(s) at Red Rock Creek with a larger box culvert that will decrease flooding potential and improve fish passage.
  • Intersection safety improvements: turn lanes and bypass lanes.
  • Pedestrian safety improvements: intersection lighting, trail crossings.
  • Bi-lingual signage.
  • Guardrail replacement
The anticipated work schedule as outlined by MN DOT is as follow:

Anticipated work in 2020

  • Construct the temporary traffic bypass that will be used while the Hollow Rock Creek Bridge is being constructed.
  • Replace the culvert at Red Rock Creek with a new, larger box culvert.
  • Repair and replace culverts other than Hollow Rock Creek.
  • Traffic Impacts
  • Work will be done while maintaining traffic on Hwy 61.
  • Roadway may be reduced to one lane controlled by flaggers.
  • Traffic will be running on single lane bypasses controlled by a portable signal system at Red Rock Creek and two other culvert replacement locations.

Anticipated work in 2021

  • Construct Hollow Rock Creek bridge.
  • Intersection safety improvements (some work may begin in 2020)
  • Reclaim and resurface the highway.
  • Traffic Impacts
  • Traffic will be run on single lane bypasses controlled by portable signal systems at Hollow Rock Creek while the new bridge is being constructed.
  • Highway reclaiming and resurfacing will result in lane closures controlled by flaggers and pilot cars.
  • Short term intersection closure of Blazes Road with a local traffic detour.
  • Short term intersection closure of Store Road with a local traffic detour.
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