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Road Construction and Maintenance Update

Road Construction and Maintenance Update

County Connections Cook County Highway Department Staff

COOK COUNTRY, MINNESOTA June 27, 2020  (LSN) In spite of COVID-19 and this spring’s unpredictable weather, Highway Department staff has been working diligently to ensure 2020 construction and maintenance activities take place as scheduled.

2020 Construction

Work on CSAH 18 (South Shore Drive) resumed on June 22: paving was delayed due to heavy rains last fall. KGM Contractors, Inc., has spent this week grading and shaping the roadbed. Paving of the 3.37-mile roadway is scheduled to begin next week, weather permitting. Traffic will be restricted to one lane during paving, with flaggers directing traffic. Paving will take approximately one week to complete.

The department’s 2020 State Aid project is the full-depth reclamation and paving of 5.17 miles of CSAH 12 (Gunflint Trail) between Pine Mountain Road and Trout Lake Road.

KGM Contractors, Inc., is scheduled to begin reclamation work the week of July 6. This phase will take two to three weeks to complete, with two to three weeks of paving to follow. Traffic will be restricted to one lane, with a pilot car leading traffic through the construction zone. In order to minimize impacts to local businesses, work is prohibited from 1 p.m. Friday to 7 a.m. Monday.

Replacement of the structurally deficient Two Island River culverts on CSAH 1 (Cramer Road) is scheduled to begin the week of July 6. The existing steel pipe arch culverts are being replaced with two precast box culverts that will facilitate trout stream passage and restore structural integrity. The contractor, Northland Constructors of Duluth, will construct a single lane bypass to be used during construction. The project will take approximately one month to complete.

Road Maintenance

Calcium chloride applications began on June 18 and ran through most of this week. The contractor, Enviro Tech Services, applied 218,000 gallons to Cook County roadways, an increase of 17 percent over 2019.

Roadway striping occurred in late May in conjunction with the striping of CSAH 17.  By delaying 2019 striping and combining the 2019 and 2020 striping budgets, the Highway Department was able to stripe the following roadways:

  • CSAH 5 (Ski Hill Road) from Highway 61 to end of pavement
  • CSAH 7 from Highway 61 to 5th Ave W
  • CSAH 8 (Devil Track Road) from CSAH 12 to end of pavement
  • CSAH 9 (Wisconsin Street)
  • CSAH 10 (Broadway Ave)
  • CSAH 12 from Highway 61 to CSAH 8
  • CSAH 15 (5th Ave W) from Highway 61 to CSAH 12
  • CSAH 16 (Arrowhead Trail) from Highway 61 to end of pavement

The maintenance and engineering divisions are reviewing proposals for guardrail repair at the following locations: Temperance River on CSAH 2 (Sawbill Trail); Fall River on CSAH 7; Superior Hiking Trail on CR 45 (Pike Lake Road); Devil Track River on CR 60; and Fall River on CR 102 (Brandon Lane). Repairs are scheduled for this summer if funding is available.

The Highway Department is accepting bids for crushing a total of 13,000 cubic yards of Class 1 gravel in two pits. Bids are due July 7, and crushing must be complete by September 15.

Interim Department Head Mike Tardy, P.E., has secured quotes for repairing the bumps on CSAH 7. Those repairs will occur shortly.

Maintenance staff is applying gravel and replacing culverts on various county roads, and the summer crew is mowing ditches county-wide.


Soil borings, design and right-of-way acquisition continue on CR 45. Design plans are 30 percent complete, and final plans should be in hand by late fall. One of the next steps is the issuance of Transportation Sales Tax (TST) bonds, which are necessary to fund construction. The county board is expected to make a decision on this by end of summer. Construction is slated for 2021 or 2022.

Design work for the Larch Creek and Seagull Creek bridges on CSAH 12 continues, as does work on the Cross River bridge on CR 46 (North Gunflint Lake Road) and the Carlson Creek bridge on CR 71 (Moose Valley Road). The Highway Department is collaborating with the Soil and Water Conservation District on the Fredenberg Creek culvert replacement as well.  All these projects are tentatively slated for construction in 2021.

Despite the challenges of teleworking and social distancing, Highway Department staff has striven to serve the residents and visitors of Cook County by delivering projects on time and within budget. Anyone with questions is encouraged to visit or call (218) 387-3014.

County Connections is a column on timely topics and service information from your Cook County government. Cook County – Supporting Community Through Quality Public Service


By: Cook County By: Cook County Highway Department Staff


County Connections is a column on timely topics and service information from your Cook County government. Cook County – Supporting Community Through Quality Public Service.

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About Cook County Minnesota

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Cook County is at the tip of Minnesota's Arrowhead region in the remote northeastern part of the state, stretching from the shores of Lake Superior to the US-Canada border. By land it borders Ontario, Canada to the north, and Lake County, MN to the west.  The highest point in Minnesota, Eagle Mountain is 2,301 feet and the highest lake,  Total Area equals 3,339.72 sq miles

Cook County is home to three national protected areas:
Grand Portage National Monument
Superior National Forest
Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

Cook County include:
 Grand Marais     Lutsen Mountains
 Gunflint Trail      Superior Hiking Trail
 Grand Portage 

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