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CARLTON - Gov. Mark Dayton issued an Emergency Executive Order for
Carlton and St. Louis Counties after heavy rainfall over Memorial Day Weekend
caused major damage to Highway 210.Heavy and persistent rainfall was just too much for
stretches of Highway 210 running through Jay Cooke State Park, causing slopes
to slide and soil around the road to fail.
"That soil is impacted when you have a really high rain
event like that partly because of the steepness of it and partly because when
the soil gets saturated it starts to fail," said Duane Hill, district
engineer for MnDOT in Duluth.
More than seven inches of rain fell in the area, with damage
exceeding MnDOT’s threshold for repairing roads totaling over $1 million. The
governor and state realizing the importance of repairing a busy tourist spot.
"This is the access to Jay Cooke State Park and we know
that in the summer time is when a lot of people like to use that route because
it's so scenic and it provides access to the park," said Hill.
MnDOT’s already working to fix the failing soil by filling
it with lightweight fill or wood chips, as well as looking into new ways to
alleviate pressure on the underlying soil.
Hill said, "The technique is basically using an air
powered rocket launcher to put 10 and 20 foot long steel tubes into the soil on
a real close spacing to kind of knit it back together and provide some lateral
Because of the sensitive environment the road is built on MnDOT
says a total reconstruction of the road would be very difficult and thus
"Our goal is to
try to maintain the road on the existing alignment profile and existing width
for as long as we can and continue to deal with Mother Nature," added