The Highwaymap Came Riding, or Older People Angrily Staring at Charts

A public meeting was held Tuesday in Gilbert to discuss options for the Highway 53 relocation near Virginia and Eveleth. There’s more of that sort of thing to come, so let’s not get crazy yet (even if some of the relocation options are a little crazy). MNDOT has until 2017 to move the highway so United Taconite can keep mining.

I’ve written on this before, but in essence this is the living drama that follows a region of small towns composing one economy built in a long line over the very iron formation the people aim to mine. Roads, man. Be they paved or rail, follow the roads to anger and resentment, but also votes and leverage. That’s why Jim Oberstar enjoyed such a long run here. He was the road whisperer.


  1. Aaron, there’s always one line in your posts that makes me grin and go, “Niiice.” In this post, it’s “He was the road whisperer.”

    Makes you wonder how Cravaack will do in Oberstar’s place on this issue.

  2. Thanks, Susan. I thought about going on, but that seemed a good way to close. 🙂

  3. My grandparents moved their whole house from North Hibbing to a block from Greenhaven school, long before school was there. I think if we can move a town, we surely can move a road. To think that we moved that town without major govt involvement and no Oberstar is beyond my comprehension.

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