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Cook County highway engineer shares update on Pike Lake Road, other construction as summer arrives

WTIP’s local weather correspondent, ‘Stan Up at Deer Yard Lake,’ created a scale by which to monitor the construction on Pike Lake Road during the summer of 2022.

As construction of the highly anticipated project reaches full stride in late June, Stan reports the ‘Pike Lake Road Misery Index’ is inching toward an all-time high.

Motorists, residents and visitors to Pike Lake Road are becoming more familiar with detours, waiting for flaggers to allow traffic to move ahead and the constant presence of heavy equipment on the well-traveled local roadway as summer weather finally sets in.

Cook County Highway Engineer Robbie Hass said during the middle of June that construction on Pike Lake Road is moving forward as scheduled, and that frustrations for local motorists was an inevitable part of the process.

Hass, who lives on Pike Lake Road, is among them.

“It takes me about 15 extra minutes to get to town,” he said.

The highway engineer said the project is moving forward in stages, and that most of the operations – from a straightening of the road near the Cascade River bridge to the right of way clearing – continue on schedule.

“They’re moving a lot of dirt,” Hass said. “Overall, things are going fine.”

The project has been discussed for many years by the Cook County Highway Department and local residents. Construction takes on a new phase this summer as the road is essentially rebuilt in certain sections. Along with the construction are detours, temporary mailboxes, dust, mud, long waits and other attributes that tend to be attached to roadwork in Minnesota.

WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs spoke with Hass about construction on Pike Lake Road. Audio below.

Other topics discussed in the interview include an update on the county’s plan to build a salt/sand storage facility in Grand Marais, construction at a bridge over the Cross River near Gunflint Lake and news of flooding locally, across Minnesota and out West in and near Yellowstone National Park.

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