The biggest highway project for the State of Minnesota in decades is coming closer to its target start date.  Once complete, the relocation of Highway 53 between Eveleth and Virginia will result in the tallest bridge in the state.  It will also impact communities, businesses, and the environment.

It's that impact to the environment that leads us to the issuance of the Final Environmental Impact Statement from the Minnesota Department of Transportation. This document describes the impacts of constructing the preferred alternative (known as Alternative E-2 with the Interchange Option and Straight Option) for relocating the section of Highway 53 that currently crosses the United Taconite open-pit mine between Virginia and Eveleth, Minnesota. The document also describes impacts to recreational resources, including the Iron Range Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area which is protected under Section 4(f) of the 1966 Department of Transportation Act.

This document is available for public consumption at the following locations:

  • Eveleth Public Library
  • Gilbert Public Library
  • Mountain Iron Public Library
  • Virginia Public Library
  • Duluth Public Library
  • Hennepin County Library-Minneapolis Central
  • the offices of the Minnesota Department of Transportation - District 1 Office in Duluth
  • online at the MNDOT website

Interested parties have until July 6, 2015 to provide comments on the Final EIS to MnDOT.  Comments can be submitted in writing to Pat Huston, Project Manager, MNDOT District 1, 1123 Mesabi Avenue, Duluth, Minnesota, 55811.