The Carlton County Board of Commissioners approved the plan to update the intersection of County Road 61 and Minnesota Highway 210 to a J-turn intersection during their meeting on Monday, Nov. 22.

County engineer JinYeene Neumann told the board the design is slightly different than what was originally proposed, with the intersection being moved to the west.

“The reason they did this was because it makes a little more sense, and costs us a little bit less money,” she said.

Moving the intersection will reduce the steep turn that is currently in place.

Carlton County's Board of Commissioners approved a revised plan to construct a J-turn intersection at County Road 61 and Minnesota Highway 210. 
(Carlton County)
Carlton County's Board of Commissioners approved a revised plan to construct a J-turn intersection at County Road 61 and Minnesota Highway 210. (Carlton County)

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In order to pay for the project, the county has applied for a Transportation Economic Development grant. The project is estimated to cost $500,000, and the county has committed $120,000 toward the local match requirement for the grant.

District 4 Commissioner Mark Thell voiced some concerns about the safety of the proposed intersection as it would be frequently used by deputies when the proposed justice center is built.

“That is my biggest objection to this whole plan, because with deputies that have to leave this facility, and head either west or to Cloquet, trying to get across that traffic will involve some kind of accident,” he said.

Neumann said a roundabout would cost the county a considerably larger amount of money.

“This is the safest option out there, unless you want to put a roundabout in,” she said. “This is going to cost us less than $500,000. A roundabout is going to cost us almost ($2 million).”