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Citizens turn out in force for Highway 61 open house

Grand Marais City Hall was standing room only for a Highway 61 reconstruction project open house on Tuesday, February 27. The open house was slated for 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., but because there were so many citizens with questions, the meeting went well past that time. 

According to the Minnesota Department of Transportation sign-in sheet, 70 people were there, but it is likely there were others in the crowded room. 

Questions and concerns were shared about parking, lighting, proposed pedestrian bump-outs, and maintenance of the road. MnDOT officials Michael Kalnbach, the MnDOT project manager, was on hand, along with District Engineer Duane Hill and Landscape Architect David Larson. With them was CJ Fernandez, a highway landscape architect, who has been working with MnDOT. 

The map of the proposed highway redesign that was presented at the meeting can be seen online on the MnDOT website. Anyone with questions is encouraged to contact Project Manager Michael Kalnbach at (218) 725-2745 or by email to

Questions for city officials can be directed to or by phone to (218) 387-1848. 

WTIP's Rhonda Silence was there and here's that report.