Road projects will be completed in time for NorthShore Inline MarathonThe road from Two Harbors to Duluth will be smoother than ever for nearly 3,000 skaters in the 15th NorthShore Inline Marathon and half-marathon on Sept. 11.
By: Forum Communcations, Lake County News Chronicle
The road from Two Harbors to Duluth will be smoother than ever for nearly 3,000 skaters in the 15th NorthShore Inline Marathon and half-marathon on Sept. 11.
While there was some concern that work on the Lester River Bridge and London Road wouldn’t be completed by race day, Minnesota Department of Transportation project manager Todd Campbell confirmed Wednesday that the 26.2-mile course will be ready.
“I was confident that everything would be done on time and I see all projects being completed by Labor Day weekend,” Campbell said.
Starting with the first five miles of the course on Scenic Highway 61 and continuing to the Fifth Avenue West exit ramp off of I-35 South, much of the pavement has undergone a facelift in recent months.
Most notable are the opening miles that received a significant asphalt patching job by Lake County Highway workers. The patching has eliminated core rubber material that was used as preventative maintenance on cracks. Over time, the mixture pulled away from the cracks and oozed onto the pavement in the form of rubber snakes, which could derail a skater.
The Lester River Bridge, built in 1925, has undergone reconstruction and reinforcement, including a new surface. A new, smoother concrete surface has also been installed on London Road at about the 22-mile mark heading up toward 26th Avenue East and onto I-35 to Leif Erikson Park. There is also new bituminous pavement along the frontage road at the Fifth Avenue West exit.
Earlier this summer, work was completed on the North Shore Scenic Railroad bridge, and the road under the bridge, south of Knife River.
NorthShore Inline Marathon executive director Rick Abrahamson said Wednesday that Minnesota Department of Transportation officials have kept in contact during the road work.
“We never had any worries about the course because we were assured everything would be fine. We appreciate all of the work that’s been done,” said Abrahamson, who took over his position June 25.
Abrahamson is expecting about 3,000 entrants for the marathon and half-marathon. There were 3,174 timed finishers last year and officials are expecting about a 9 percent drop in entries this year. Registration will be taken through Sept. 10 with an entry fee of $85, which will increase to $105 on Sept. 4 at northshoreinline.com and (218) 723-1503.