Highway 53 (to be) Rerouted

Iron Range history brims with tales of highway rerouting for mining purposes. Indeed, entire towns have been moved or abandoned to extract iron from the ground. The taconite era has been light on these moves, until recently. Now one of the Iron Range’s central arteries, Highway 53, must be rerouted near the entrance to Virginia to accommodate MinnTac’s operations. No small task. Local State Rep. Tom Rukavina (DFL-Virginia) is demanding a tighter timeline from the six-year plan-to-make-a-plan. If taconite is to survive beyond another decade there will be more moves like these, each of them expensive and disruptive. Such is life in a mining town.


  1. Someone told me yesterday that the state has known for a long time that this reroute would be needed. I think it makes sense that this be decided sooner rather than later. It impacts people’s decisions about their businesses and jobs and homes.

    However, it seems that people have task forces and engineering projects come and go that are never implemented. We moved here in 1977. After we came here, a friend told us that she had attended a meeting at which maps were presented that showed out property would/could be in the island between two halves of a four lane road. They can’t be closer here because we are on river frontage. Well, nothing has ever happened regarding these changes. In fact, other changes have taken place that haven’t impacted us in the least.

    But I will NOT live in a house in that type of island. I suppose it would be hard to sell this house if that ever happened. But by then I should be ready for a house in a warmer climate anyway.

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