Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News Release

Dec. 19, 2018

Hwy 53/Hwy 1 safety improvement project Environmental Assessment Worksheet

DULUTH, Minn. — The Minnesota Department of Transportation has prepared an Environmental Assessment Worksheet for the Hwy 53/Hwy 1 safety improvement project and is seeking public input. A public meeting was held on December 6, 2018 at the Cook Community Center where project layouts and other exhibits were on display and MnDOT staff shared details about the project and answered questions.

As Responsible Government Unit, MnDOT has prepared an Environmental Assessment Worksheet consistent with Minnesota Environmental Policy Act Requirements. An EAW gives a full project description, evaluates the potential for social, economic and environmental impacts and addresses mitigation measures and environmental commitments. The EAW is being distributed to interested agencies for review. It is also being made available at mndot.gov/d1/projects/hwy53-1-st.-louis-koochiching and at the following locations for public review:

  • Cook Public Library, 103 South River Street, Cook, MN 55723
  • Orr City Hall, 4429 Hwy 53, Orr, MN  55771
  • International Falls Public Library, 750 Fourth Street, International Falls, MN  56649
  • MnDOT District 1, 101 North Hoover Road, Virginia, MN 55792

NOTICE IS BEING GIVEN that a 30-day public comment period for the EAW will begin December 31, 2018 and will extend through January 30, 2019. Please submit written comments by January 30, 2019 to:

Josie Olson, P.E.
Project Manager
MnDOT District 1
1123 Mesaba Avenue
Duluth, MN  55811

The project will improve safety and mobility on Hwy 53 by constructing the following improvements:

  • Intersection safety improvements at the Hwy 53/Hwy 1 junction, approximately 3.5 miles south of Cook, Minnesota
  • Intersection safety improvements at the junction of Hwy 53/Hwy 1 approximately one mile northwest of Cook, Minnesota
  • Four 2.5-mile-long passing lanes located between Cook and International Falls, Minnesota

Approximately 1.02 acres of right-of-way will be required for the north Hwy 53/Hwy 1 junction improvements. The passing lanes will be constructed entirely within MnDOT right-of-way and almost entirely within the existing roadway footprint. The project will not affect any private or roadway accesses.

To request an ASL or foreign language interpreter, or other reasonable accommodation, call 651-366-4720 or 1-800-657-3774 (Greater Minnesota), 711 or 1-800-627-3529 (Minnesota Relay). You may also send an email to ADArequest.dot@state.mn.us. Please request at least one week in advance, if possible.