Listen Now
Pledge Now


 
 

A closer look at the city's Highway 61 costs

While the city focuses on costs of the Highway 61 project, the fate of these elm trees is still uncertain. Photo J. Friedrichs
While the city focuses on costs of the Highway 61 project, the fate of these elm trees is still uncertain. Photo J. Friedrichs

The reconstruction of Highway 61 through the City of Grand Marais has been an ongoing topic on the city council agenda. At the last meeting, on September 25, the city council reviewed a comprehensive breakdown of the project costs. Councilors expressed dismay at some of the expenses and frustration over the Minnesota Department of Transportation bid letting process. 

WTIP’s Rhonda Silence followed up with MnDOT after that meeting. She spoke with Grand Marais Project Manager Michael Kalnbach about the city’s response to the latest information from MnDOT and those questions about the bidding process. Here’s their conversation.

   

Rhonda also spoke with Grand Marais City Administrator Mike Roth about the project and the increased cost to the city. Here’s that conversation. 

The MnDOT Highway 61 project is on the agenda for the city’s next council meeting, on Wednesday, October 9. That discussion is not about project costs, but about the 11 elm trees in the section of Highway 61 between Voyageur Brewing Company and the Buck’s Hardware intersection. 

The removal of the elms is scheduled for November. Listen to the related story, Grand Marais elm trees to be removed in November, says project engineer. 

Listeners may also be interested in this WTIP story on the condition of the elm trees, Health of Grand Marais elm trees still being debated. 

As Councilor Kelly Swearingen was not at the September 11 meeting, the council agreed to table this discussion on what the city can do, if anything, regarding the removal of the trees. They will resume this discussion at the Wednesday, Oct. 9 council meeting. The tree discussion is on the agenda at 7:30 p.m., but as always, the council meeting starts with a time for public comment at 6:30 p.m.