Rhonda Silence

Checking in with MnDOT on Grand Marais Highway 61 project

The reconstruction of Highway 61 through the City of Grand Marais has been progressing on schedule according to Minnesota Department of Transportation Project Engineer Edward Welch.

The “big dig,” the removal of soils contaminated by gas stations that operated decades ago, is complete. There is a bit more water and sewer line work to be done in the area west of 3rd Avenue, but that should be complete in a few weeks. Highway 61 east of 3rd Avenue should be open in mid-July.

However, the stretch between 8th Avenue and 3rd will continue to be one lane of traffic. There is major excavating on that section, with the installation of a retaining wall for the multiuse path along the side of the highway. When the work is done on the lakeside of Highway 61 the contractor will begin work on the other side. Motorists can expect the single-lane, one-way traffic in that section until sometime in September.

MnDOT has also informed the City of Grand Marais that a change order is necessary for some of the waterline work. Different materials are needed, adding approximately $27,000 to the city’s cost.

WTIP’s Rhonda Silence spoke with Project Engineer Edward Welch about all this.