This week, my focus has primarily been on roads and bridges. I am pleased report that we are making progress on repairing one of our district’s heavily traveled commercial and public safety routes.
As residents in the Aitkin and McGregor area are well aware, the 14-mile stretch of US Highway 210 between the northern junction of US Hwy 169 and US Highway 201 going east to McGregor is in very poor condition.
US Highway 210 is a major 228-mile east/west commercial route connecting interstate highways 35, 94 and 31 to the west. The route is a major corridor that moves timber, grain and other commercial products across Minnesota to our paper and pallet mills and the Port of Duluth. It also is a critical public safety route for fire, police and ambulance service in northeast Aitkin County.
During a meeting with the MNDOT District 1 Engineer Duane Hill, he indicated MNDOT will let bids to resurface that 14 miles of Highway 210 this May. Assuming acceptable bids are forthcoming, work would begin mid-summer. The plan calls for a heavy mill and overlay. It is anticipated that work would involve one lane at a time, with pilot vehicles leading traffic through the sections that will temporarily be limited to one lane.
Last year, this portion of 210 received a short-term emergency repair to in order to prevent further deterioration and smooth out the road surface. This helped a little bit and was needed to support snow removal this winter without further damaging the road surface or damaging the snowplowing equipment, which is designed to remove snow from reasonably smooth asphalt or concreate roadway surfaces.
Also, I received news of an important improvement to MN Highway 6. MNDOT, the DNR and the City of Crosby are working on a project to place a large concrete structure under MN Highway 6 just outside Crosby. The structure would allow for foot, bike and motorized recreational vehicle traffic to pass under the highway, rather than having that traffic crossing the highway.
Thank you to the City of Crosby, which has taken a major leadership role in making this happen. This project will improve public safety to a very busy area near Crosby and the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area.
Good luck to the Vikings ... one more game to win to get to the big one!