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Hour-long backups reported in Lake County

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Motorists are experiencing hour-long delays on Minnesota Highway 61 in Lake County today during a short-term paving project, the Minnesota Department of Transportation reports.

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In a news release, MnDOT said the two-mile section near Split Rock River is being temporarily paved in preparation for a possible government shutdown and urged motorists to use an alternative route. Work began this morning.

Trucks hauling asphalt to the project area also are being delayed by the backups, the news release said. The project was scheduled to be completed today but may extend into Friday because of the traffic backups.

MnDOT is paving the two-mile section because it was under construction and had a temporary gravel surface that would be difficult to maintain during a shutdown if it rains.

The alternate route for motorists heading north is Highway 61 to Lake County Road 2 (on the northeastern edge of Two Harbors), north to Forest Highway 11, then east to Silver Bay and back to Highway 61. For motorists headed south, reverse the route.

For real-time traveler information anywhere in Minnesota visit 511mn.org or dial 511.

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