Cook County Highway Department seeking public comment for 5th Avenue Reconstruction Project
A busy street in Grand Marais will receive a much-needed facelift next summer. The Cook County Highway Department announced on June 24 plans for the 5th Avenue Reconstruction Project for the summer of 2023.
Cook County Highway Engineer Robbie Hass said in an interview with WTIP on June 27 that 5th Avenue between Highway 61 and County Road 7 is the poorest rated pavement in the entire county.
Hass said, “I think anybody that would drive the road would make that argument. The pavement’s pretty darn bad.”
The highway department assesses pavement based on roughness, surface distress, deflection, and overall quality and provides a rating of either excellent, good, fair, or poor.
Unfortunately, during the last assessment, 5th Avenue landed a spot in the last category.
The highway department held a public information meeting in 2019 concerning the 5th Avenue Reconstruction Project to gather public input as they began the design and development process.
Now that the design process is nearing completion, the highway department is seeking final input from the community before construction commences.
In addition to replacing the pavement, the highway department will add sidewalks and work with the city to replace stormwater infrastructure.
Hass said in the June 24 media release, “Sidewalks are in line with Cook County and Grand Marais pedestrian plans to help make this a more walk-friendly community.”
While sidewalks will effectively widen 5th Avenue, Hass said the city plats for 5th Avenue include a 66-foot corridor.
“So 33 feet on either side of the centerline of the road is the county right-of-way. We know it’s going to be a snug fit with this project,” Hass said.
Before design plans are finalized, the highway department seeks feedback and comments from homeowners and business owners along 5th Avenue, as well as the general public.
The Cook County Highway Department has scheduled a public meeting for 6 to 8 p.m. on July 12, in the Commissioners’ Room at the Cook County Courthouse.
WTIP’s Kalli Hawkins spoke with Cook County Highway Engineer Robbie Hass about the 5th Avenue Reconstruction Project. Audio below.