A summer-long project to reconstruct Highway 61 as it passes through downtown Grand Marais kicked off on Monday, May 18.  According to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, advance site work has been done to achieve the least impacts to traffic as possible.

Reconstruction work for the summer will start on Highway 61 near Broadway Avenue.  A local detour will be in place for regular, local, in-town traffic on First Avenue West and Second Street.  All truck traffic will be detoured using County Highway 7 for the duration of the summer.  Resurfacing and culvert work will take place on Highway 61 at some point later this summer.

In order to keep everyone impacted by the work project in the loop, MNDOT will hold weekly virtual public meetings on Thursdays at 1:00 PM using WebEx.  The first of these meetings will happen on Thursday, May 21. In addition, MNDOT will regularly update the online project website and send weekly email updates.  To get more details about the project, connect to the public meeting, see maps, and sign up for the email updates, click here.

For the time being - as the COVID-19 Pandemic response is in place, MNDOT is working hard to adhere to Governor Tim Walz's Stay at Home executive order. Road work has been identified as a Critical Service by the state and will continue on.

Here are some important reminders from MNDOT about safety in regards to this specific project as well as any of the projects you might encounter this summer:

  • Slow down when approaching a work zone
  • Use caution when navigating through the marked-off work area
  • Stay alert - work zones constantly change
  • Watch for workers and slow moving equipment
  • Obey the posted speed limits. Fine for a violation in a work zone is $300
  • Minimize distractions behind the wheel
  • Be patient
  • Expect delays - especially during peak travel times

For more information about this specific project or any of the scheduled road work across the state, click here to visit the Minnesota Department of Transportation's online project page.

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