Small Businesses Worry Bustling Construction Could Turn Away Tourists

The construction includes replacing traffic signals and pavement in Two Harbors and north of the city

TWO HARBORS, Minn.- Construction is continuing to buzz along on Highway 61 on the North Shore.

The construction includes replacing traffic signals and pavement in Two Harbors and north of the city. Earlier this summer the paving project began outside of Two Harbors but now the project will be right in the city along Highway 61. Although summer is construction season it’s also time small businesses rely on tourism to make a majority of their profits.

The County Road 2 and Highway 61 intersection will be under construction starting next Monday. Work will be done on sidewalks, storm sewers, and turn lanes, which will cause delays.

“Travelers if they use too much time on the road, they tend to be very oriented as far as time wise and they don’t have as much to stop and shop,” Sweet Pea Owner Randy Lancaster said.

In order to keep the two-lane traffic open street parking will not be available in certain areas on Highway 61 during the construction.

“We are trying as much as we can to keep as much parking on 61 available as we can and still allow the contractors to be able to get the work done,” project manager Derek Fredrickson said.

Project managers are working with local businesses to minimize the effect the construction could potentially have.

“We’ve gone around a lot to try and figure out how the project this year with making the least impact to the city of Two Harbors,” Fredrickson said.

Local businesses are asked to communicate with construction management to help with things such as large shipments.

Owner of sweet pea gift shop tells us they’ve been through it before, but it’s always a nervous time.

“Hats off to the construction workers they are outstanding, so at this point we’re just hoping for some decent weather so that they can stay on schedule,” Lancaster said.

If the construction goes as planned shop owners can still rely on another busy season, fall tourists.

For more information on the North Shore construction visit Highway 61 Project.

Categories: Business, Community, Minnesota, News, News – Latest News, Road Construction/Traffic