There's reason to celebrate:  Three different road projects have finished and officials with St. Louis County are recognizing the completion with a ribbon cutting ceremony on October 26 at 10:30 A.M - on the new "Super Sidewalk" on Rice Lake Road.

All three of the projects occurred on different stretches of the same roadway:  County State Aid Highway 4 - running from Duluth to Biwabik.

Here's a run-down of what kept the county busy this past summer:

  • The Super Sidewalk - along the west side of Rice Lake Road was completed.  Stretching 1.7 miles, this walkway connects Marshall School to Arrowhead Road with an 8-foot wide path of asphalt.  Long-term, the Super Sidewalk is part of a master plan to link area trails from the college campuses to the Lakewalk.  Cost for this stretch:  $1.1 million.
  • The T-shaped intersection at Rice Lake Road and Airport Road.  A $790,000 project reconfigured the intersection, easing traffic congestion and improving safety.  It also marks the first occurrence of a "continuous green T-signal" in the state of Minnesota.
  • Re-pavement of a 12-mile stretch between Island Lake and the Whiteface Reservoir - specifically from Thompson Lake Road to just south of Marshall Truck Trail.  Cost for the project was $3.3 million.

These three projects joined more than 170 projects throughout the county this past year, totaling $83 million.  All told crews performed 107 miles of pavement preservation, 24 bridge replacements, 280 miles of preventative maintenance, 5 miles of complete reconstruction, 15 miles of gravel road improvements, and more than 12 miles of culvert replacements.