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It's that time of year

Big Agates to fixing Seventh Avenue sidewalks. Anyone who has stubbed a toe, had to go around big breaks, or turned an ankle will agree.

Construction season officially began in Lake County last week as sidewalks and curbs were torn up and replaced along Seventh Avenue (Highway 61) in Two Harbors.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation is taking on the sidewalk improvement project that will bring the walkways in line with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Sidewalks will be improved along Lakeview Cemetery and between Fifth and Sixth streets, said MnDOT project manager Krysten Saatela. Sporadic improvements will be made all along the corridor, including ramps at corners similar to the ones built on the new Waterfront Drive.

The $586,000 project includes work in Ely and Cloquet. There could be periodic closures at intersections, but not too much disruption, Saatela said.

Specific locations or work being done along Highway 61 includes:

- Pedestrian ramps and crosswalk improvements at eight intersections: County Road 11, 15th Street, County Road 26, and Eighth Street to Fourth Street.

- Sidewalk reconstruction on both sides between Sixth Street and Fifth Street, along southbound 61 between Judy's Café driveway and Eighth, along southbound 61 from Fourth to Fifth, and along northbound 61 in front of cemetery.

There are no plans to put a sidewalk on the opposite side of the cemetery but it is in the city's plans for future improvements.