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Project 61: A consortium of Cook County businesses create on-line resource to help visitors navigate road construction

May 05, 2021 04:21AM ● By Editor
From Boreal Community Media - May 5, 2021

The Cook County Chamber of Commerce, Visit Cook County and Boreal Community Media have created an on-line resource to keep the public informed on North Shore road construction.  Named Project 61, the on-line website will report on the various locations and phases of the Highway 61 construction, including information on scope of work to be performed, schedules, details on road closing and detours, and how construction will be impact community events and celebrations throughout the summer.  

The public can access the on-line pages by clicking on the Project 61 banner displayed prominently on the home page at  The site is mobile friendly so it can be accessed by users on their cellphone or other mobile device when they are away from home.

"When the folks at Boreal Community Media approached us about a Boreal home for construction updates, it quickly became obvious that this should work very well for everyone. For the Chamber, updating online construction information is something to add on top of regular duties, whereas it meshed very well with the central mission for Boreal," said Jim Boyd, Executive Director of the Cook County Chamber of Commerce, "The Boreal team quickly put together a page that brings everything together in one place and does it very well. I am certain the page will continue to evolve through the summer, and I am hopeful it will make life in the middle of a construction project easier for everyone."

The on-line resource uses graphic design elements that complement other communication efforts such as rack cards and maps being distributed throughout Cook County by the Chamber of Commerce and its members.  Thus far seventeen additional businesses have made financial contributions to help underwrite the costs of developing the site.

"We're delighted to be able to assist both Cook County visitors and businesses navigate the disruption created by the construction season.  We hope people will use this on-line resource to learn what and when things are happening and give them tips on safety prior to arriving to their visit to Cook County," said Boreal Community Media Executive Director Lisa Bauer, "We encourage all area businesses to post links to the Project 61 pages on their own websites and social media pages."

There are three major construction projects now underway on Highway 61 on the North Shore: in downtown Grand Marais, on the east end of Cook County through the Grand Portage tribal lands to the Canadian border, and road re-surfacing on a section of Highway 61 south of Two Harbors.

Entering its second year, the downtown Grand Marais construction project is divided into two phases in 2021.  The first phase - named The Dig - includes the removal of petroleum contaminated soil at the site of a former gas stations and is being overseen by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. The first phase runs from early May through mid-August.

The website features maps such as these created by the Project 61 team.  Image: Cook County Chamber

The second phase - called The Facelift - involves adding walking and biking trails, art installations, landscaping, trees and more.  It is expected to run from early August into October.

The Grand Portage project will involve bridge replacement, road resurfacing and intersection improvements.  The Two Harbors project will include road resurfacing and intersection improvements.

You can access the Project 61 Road Construction page by following this link:

The Cook County Chamber, Visit Cook County and Boreal Community thanks the following area businesses for lending financial support to make the Project 61 on-line resource possible.

  • Beth's Fudge and Gifts
  • Blue Water Cafe
  • Buck's Hardware
  • Cascade Vacation Rentals
  • Coldwell Banker North Shore
  • Cook County Higher Education
  • Jeweler of the North Shore
  • Joy & Company
  • Joyne's Department Store
  • Lake Superior Trading Post
  • Grand Marais Marathon
  • Mathison & Vos Law Firm
  • North House Folk School
  • Northern Wilds
  • Subway Restaurant
  • World's Best Donuts
  • WTIP Radio
Visitors are encouraged to patronize these businesses and thank them for helping provide the information on how to navigate North Shore road construction season safely!
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