WTIP file photo

MnDOT on track for highway construction to begin mid-May

Discussion of the upcoming Highway 61 road construction this spring has been on the agenda of many local government meetings.
The Cook County Chamber of Commerce, Visit Cook County, and the Grand Marais Business Coalition have been working to make the upcoming Highway 61 road construction through Grand Marais go as smoothly as possible.

One of the chamber initiatives is creating a theme for businesses to use to encourage visitors to come into the city. As part of what has been dubbed the “Project 61” effort, two billboards on the east of town have been made available to welcome visitors with a positive message.

Chamber Executive Director Jim Boyd says the billboards are being made available thanks to Mark Shackleton, owner of the Subway sandwich shop, and Melodee and Dan Riddle, owners of the Blue Water Cafe.

Boyd said the chamber wants to put up “funny, positive messages that nod to the construction but encourage folks coming from Canada to stop in Grand Marais.”

To come up with something community-minded and creative, the chamber is holding a billboard design contest. Anyone interesting in submitting a design may do so by sending an entry to gmbillboards@gmail.com

A winner will be chosen by April 1.

While all this preparation is taking place locally, it has been a while since the community has heard an update from the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Just when will all this construction start? What are the construction boundaries for the first year of construction?

WTIP’s Rhonda Silence finds out in this interview.