COOK COUNTY – After a congested summer of road construction between Eagle Ridge Resort and Papa Charlie’s, Cook County’s Highway 5 bridge is now open.
The new $823,000 concrete structure, funded by Cook County’s Transportation Sales Tax, replaced a load-restricted steel bridge with deteriorated timber abutments. Last winter’s first draft schedule for this project forecasted a completion date at the end of September, but Highway Department staff and Erickson Engineering, who designed the new bridge, worked closely with the contractor, S&R Reinforcing, Inc. of Aitkin, and Lutsen Mountains Corporation to achieve a mid-August opening. Highway 5 carries an average of over 1,100 vehicles per day.
“It’s complex to manage the impacts of replacing a bridge without an available detour, and Cook County is glad to reopen Highway 5 all the way to the hiking trail parking lot before Labor Day weekend and leaf season,” said Highway Engineer Krysten Foster.”
Sinnott Blacktop completed the paving this week to complete construction on this significant project. Drivers may encounter periodic weekday daytime lane closures through the end of August for finish work including lighting, painting, and sweeping.
Cook County thanks the business community, visitors, and residents for their patience during construction.