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5th Avenue reconstruction project to begin in coming week

5th Avenue reconstruction project to begin in coming week

The city council meeting on May 10 included various agenda items, including two resolutions for conditional use permits, approval of the Community Connector construction contract, and discussion regarding the 5th Avenue reconstruction project. 

Before the city council meeting on May 10, the Cook County Highway Department held a 5th Avenue reconstruction project meeting with the hired contractor, Ulland Bros, and various other county and city agencies. 

The official start of the 5th Avenue reconstruction project will begin on May 22. During the meeting, it was discussed that Ulland Bros. would begin staging barricades, equipment, and materials and conduct survey operations in the project corridor. At that time, temporary water main supplies will be staged near Highway 61 and 1st Street. 

In addition to replacing the pavement, the project includes adding sidewalks on both sides of 5th Avenue and replacing city stormwater infrastructure. 

“The key for the city here is that this gives us an opportunity to update our utilities underneath the road,” Grand Marais Mayor Tracy Benson said. “That’s why it’s an important ability for us to team together with the county.”

While staging efforts will begin on May 22, construction will commence on Tuesday, May 30. 5th Avenue W. will remain open through Memorial Weekend. 

Starting May 30, 5th Ave W. will be closed from Highway 61 to 5th Street at 7 a.m., and the first block of temporary hookups will begin. 

The project will consist of three phases:

  • Phase 1 – from Hwy 61 to 1st Street
  • Phase 2 – 1st Street to 3rd Street
  • Phase 3 – 3rd Street to 5th Street

The county said in a recent media release that streets crossing 5th Ave W. would be open depending on the work being conducted. In addition, a minimum 24-hour notice will be given to homeowners regarding any interruptions to utilities. 

Benson said there would be an individual, Jacob Baker, who represents the county for the 5th Avenue project, on-site to answer questions. Baker can be reached at 218-370-2322 or

“So he’ll be there to answer questions at any time,” Benson said. 

In addition to having someone on-site, schedule updates can be found in two locations: at the construction trailer in the overflow parking lot of the courthouse and online at An overall project schedule will be available and provide a general idea of planned activities and then a more specific bi-weekly schedule of detailed activities. 

WTIP’s Kalli Hawkins spoke with Grand Marais Mayor Tracy Benson for an update on the 5th Avenue reconstruction project and an overview of the May 10 city council meeting. Audio below.