Highway 210 Near Jay Cooke State Park Reopens

CARLTON, Minn. —

A three and a half mile stretch of highway near Jay Cooke State Park has been closed for five years.

And just in time for the leaves to change colors, Highway 210 is open and fully restored.

A portion of highway 210 is finally open to the public after a devastating flood destroyed much of the landscape there back in 2012.

MnDOT couldn’t just fix the roadway and open it back up to traffic; it took a $21.3 million overhaul of the entire structure of the hillside.

Crews have been working since 2015 to restore the sloping embankments, build walls surrounding the vast hillsides, and bring the scenic highway back to life.

“We ran into some bumps along the way,” explains MnDOT District 1 Resident Engineer Aaron Gunderson.

Gunderson has served as the project manager on the effort to restore Hwy 210.

“We knew when we got into this that it would be a serious endeavor,” he said.  “That’s why it was closed.  Just because we knew how much work it was going to be to actually reopen it.”

Gunderson says MnDOT made emergency repairs immediately following the flood.

But it took until 2015, with planning and community engagement, to actually start this project to fully restore the highway to where it’s at today.

Gunderson addresses how long it took to finally open the highway to the public:

“People said they wanted the road open, and we responded and did it,” he said.  “Thank you for your patience is what I’ve got for them.”

MnDOT says it took more than 55,000 man-hours to complete the Highway 210 project.

But in that time, there were no injuries sustained by anyone involved.