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Hwy 1, North Shore Drive closed for construction

Highway 1 detour begins in Murphy City. Call 511 or visit for updates. Map courtesy of MnDOT.

Work has begun on Minnesota Highway 1 between Ely and Minnesota Highway 61. Culverts were slated for replacement in Murphy City, closing roads this week. Additional grading work will continue through mid-September, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

Motorists will be detoured onto Lake County Road 7 and Forest Road 172. Much of the 37- mile detour will be on gravel roads. Two paved routes have been determined, and maps will be available at detour entrances.

North Shore Drive repairs underway

A 6-mile section of North Shore Drive closed for construction Aug. 15. The construction, affecting 13 areas damaged by last year's flood, will include "replacing damaged culverts and guard rails, and repairing areas where significant slides occurred," according to a news release from the St Louis County Public Works Department

"It's the right time for it to be done, before something worse happens," said Steve Krasaway, resident engineer. "It might have been a lot worse if we waited another year."

Set to be completed Oct. 18, the repairs will be performed by Northland Constructors of Duluth at a cost of about $1.4 million.

"It's a big project for the county," Krasaway said. "We're trying to keep it as short as possible."

Because the repairs may be an inconvenience for local businesses, residents and visitors, the project is planned to happen in four parts. On Aug. 15, North Shore Drive closed between the two places where it meets Stoney Point Drive. This closure will last for about three weeks. Stoney Point Drive will be available for use, and signs will detour traffic and direct drivers how to reach local businesses using the drive.

"We're trying to have the least impact to businesses," Krasaway said. And, "We're making sure we get all the locals into their houses."

As the work continues toward Ryan Road, three other sections of North Shore Drive will be closed at different times. However, because of the Superior Man Triathlon on Sunday and the North Shore Inline Marathon on Sept. 25, two major events requiring the use of the road, North Shore Drive will be open on those dates.

"We're taking a lot of consideration doing the projects around the events. The road will be paved and open three days prior to the event," Krasaway said.

Because Lake Superior is very close to the project sites, extra measures will be taken to make sure sediment doesn't run into the lake.

"We want to protect the environment and make sure we don't get Lake Superior any dirtier," Krasaway said.

For updated travel information on all Minnesota roads, call 511 or visit