Highway 53 bridge opening delayed

Though Bridge Daze celebrating the new Highway 53 bridge between Virginia and Eveleth will go on this week, motorists won’t cross the new tallest bridge in Minnesota until mid-September. On Tuesday, the Minnesota Department of Transportation announced that weather delayed their target opening date this week. Barring setbacks, officials hope to open the bridge to… Read More →

What’s in a name? Cleveland-Cliffs is back

Cliffs Natural Resources is now Cleveland-Cliffs. That means that the grand old man of American iron mining now wears his old duds. Lourenco Goncalves , Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “The historical name Cleveland-Cliffs is synonymous with our strong heritage, and is the perfect one for our next era of growth. As we did… Read More →

Highway 53 bridge name contest down to final vote

Nearly complete, the Highways 53 and 135 rerouting project between the Mesabi Iron Range towns of Virginia, Eveleth and Gilbert will be Northern Minnesota’s largest, most expensive infrastructure project of our generation. The showpiece of the whole thing is a new Highway 53 bridge spanning the Rouchleau Pit outside Virginia. That bridge is almost done…. Read More →

Iron Range readies for state’s tallest bridge

I’ve been covering the progress of the massive rerouting of Highways 53 and 135 on the east-central Mesabi Iron Range in Northern Minnesota. Though I’ve questioned the routing and expense of this quarter-billion dollar project, the massive 1,100-foot high bridge on Highway 53 now nears completion. And no matter your opinion, it’s a marvel. Officials… Read More →

Iron Range Fourth of July 2017

It’s time for another Iron Range Fourth of July in Northern Minnesota. Regardless of economic or political winds, the region always unites for its uniquely exuberant observation of Independence Day, which lasts several days (up to a month) as celebrated in local custom. Below is MinnesotaBrown’s 2017 Iron Range Fourth of July listing for parades, fireworks displays and street… Read More →

Cliffs now producing ‘mustang’ flux pellets at Eveleth

After nine months of winter construction, today Cliffs Natural Resources started its new “mustang” pellet line at United Taconite in Eveleth. The $75 million investment will produce special order flux pellets. The “mustang” pellet is a iron ore product specially formulated for a particular method of making steel. It’s more like a traditional taconite pellet than higher… Read More →

IRRRB reform divides Iron Range delegation

The Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board would see its governance structure change under new reforms currently attached to House Republican legislation. The board, comprised of legislators from the Taconite Tax Relief Area, now oversees IRRRB spending of taconite tax revenue. This is money paid by iron mines in lieu of local property taxes. The… Read More →

Government in the bag

At age 10, I controlled the government. It all started with a knock on the door of our trailer house. We lived on the family junkyard along County Highway 7, a couple miles south of Eveleth Taconite in the Sax-Zim bog. Such knocks came rare and usually involved directing toothless men back to the shop… Read More →

Power plays go beyond hockey on the Mesabi Iron Range

This week the state hockey tournament takes place in St. Paul. This sporting spectacle doubles as a cultural celebration for the people of the North Star State. Once, the whole state bowed to the gods of hockey from our beloved blue collar Mesabi Iron Range. Today, however, the big suburban schools dominate the competition. The… Read More →

Layman, Bakk IRRRB reform bills get closer

Following up on my post earlier this week, the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board met this week in St. Paul. Also this week, two Iron Range legislators, one Republican and one DFLer, moved toward each other with bills to reform the agency. In a contentious 5-4 vote, the board endorsed a plan to privatize Giant’s… Read More →