Highway 53 isn't the only roadway that will see movement over the next few years on the Iron Range;  Plans are underway to alter the route that Highway 1/169 takes between Tower and Ely to create a safer route for motorists.

With wider shoulders, improved drainage and clear zones, additional turning and bypass lanes, and a realignment of portions of the roadway, drivers can expect some relief from the sometimes-hazardous route that becomes especially treacherous in the wintertime.  In all, almost six miles of the highway will be worked on once the project commences.

In anticipation of the work, officials with the Minnesota Department of Transportation have released a a combined Federal Environmental Assessment and State Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EA/EAW)  that can be viewed by the public.  Interested persons can see the paperwork at the following locations:

  • Ely Public Library, 224 East Chapman Street, Ely, Minnesota 55731
  • Duluth Public Library, 520 W. Superior Street, Duluth MN 55802
  • MNDOT District 1 – Virginia Office Building Lobby, 101 N. Hoover Road, Virginia, MN 55792
  • Minneapolis Public Library, Technical & Science Division, Government Docs., 2nd Floor, 300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1992
  • MNDOT Library, 395 John Ireland Boulevard, St. Paul, MN 55155

There is also an opportunity to attend a public meeting that has been scheduled for Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at the Vermilion Community College – Room CL104, 1900 East Camp St., Ely, MN 55731. The open house style meeting will be held from 6 PM to 9 PM, with a presentation at 7 PM.   MNDOT representatives will be present to answer questions and receive public comments on the preferred alternative and the assessment of environmental impacts in the EA/EAW.