The Proposed Highway 53 Westerly Route Under Fire from Congressman Rick Nolan

By KBJR News 1

July 22, 2013 Updated Jul 22, 2013 at 6:19 PM CDT


There are several options still on the table for the highway 53 re–route between Virginia and Eveleth, but one option has recently been under fire from Congressman Rick Nolan.

Nolan has called further research into the feasibility of the Westerly route "a waste of money."

MnDot officials say the route is one of six options including two "no build" options.

The Westerly Route includes using highway 37 and county road 7 and adds approximately 20 miles to a trip between Eveleth and Virginia.
Project manager Roberta Dwyer says the route could be beneficial.

"The main benefit is that it removes the highway from any of the Biwabik iron formation. All the other alternatives do have to cross to Biwabik formation."

The Westerly Route would begin at the junction of Highway 53 and 37 south of Eveleth, continue to highway 7, and return to highway 53 in Virginia.

For information on other proposed options for the Highway 53 relocation project click the link below.