Northern Wilds Magazine
“I shot this photo with a 600mm telephoto lens, standing on the highway curb in front of the post office. Shooting with a telephoto lens compresses the view like that, same as if you were to look at that view through a pair of binoculars,” said photographer Travis Novitsky. | TRAVIS NOVITSKY

New website for Grand Marais highway work

An on-line resource will keep the public informed on North Shore road construction this year. Named Project 61, the website will report on the various locations and phases of Highway 61 construction, including information on scope of work to be performed, schedules, details on road closings and detours, and how construction will impact community events and celebrations throughout the summer.

The public can access the site by clicking on the Project 61 banner displayed prominently on the home page at: The site is mobile friendly so it can be accessed by users on their cellphone or other mobile device.

The on-line resource uses graphic design elements that complement other communication efforts such as rack cards and maps being distributed throughout Cook County by the Chamber of Commerce and its members.

There are three major construction projects now underway on Highway 61 on the North Shore: in downtown Grand Marais, on the east end of Cook County through the Grand Portage tribal lands to the Canadian border, and road re-surfacing on a section of Highway 61 south of Two Harbors.

Entering its second year, the downtown Grand Marais construction project is divided into two phases in 2021. The first phase—named The Dig—includes the removal of petroleum contaminated soil at the site of a former gas station and is being overseen by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. The first phase runs from early May through mid-August.

The second phase—called The Facelift—involves adding walking and biking trails, art installations, landscaping, trees and more. It is expected to run from early August into October.

The Grand Portage project will involve bridge replacement, road resurfacing and intersection improvements. The Two Harbors project will include road resurfacing and intersection improvements.

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