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Updates & Road Construction

During the year we learn of things that have changed in the printed edition of the Lake Superior Travel Guide. We post the changes here as we learn about them. If you encounter information that is different from our reports in the guide, we’d appreciate hearing from you. Use our Reader Field Report page to send us your change. Thank you.

Updates

Special Advisory

in early June 2018, dramatic storms caused extensive road and bridge closures due to high water and washouts. Repairs will take months, if not years, in some locations. If you are planning to visit Northern Wisconsin and Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula, we advise checking before you go to see if conditions have changed. Although access is available in all areas and at best will cause only minor delays, you may wish to plan alternate travel plans to avoid closed areas.

In Bayfield and Ashland counties, several roadways were washed out, including parts of Highway 2. The Bayfield County Sheriff's Office posted a video showing how powerful the water can be. Bayfield County Tourism posted an alternative route map for navigating through the area: https://www.bayfieldcounty.org/998/8076/2018-Flood and posts updates at: https://www.bayfieldcounty.org/998/8076/2018-Flood.

In Douglas County and Superior, the quick rise of the Nemadji River also caused flash flooding. Douglas County road closings can be found at http://douglascountywi.org/1055/Road-Closures and road alerts around the state at https://511wi.gov.

Areas hit especially hard include Houghton/Hancock in Michigan. Rains washed out roadways both in and around the cities. This link gets you to an MDOT map showing road conditions around the state: https://mdotnetpublic.state.mi.us/drive/.

In Duluth, Minnesota

Lake Superior Art Glass, 202 E. Superior St., in Duluth, has moved to 357 Canal Park Drive in late May. Both studio and gallery are combined in the new location. (page 26)

In Grand Marais, Minnesota

New Name: Dockside Fish Market has a new owner and a new name, albeit the fare will pretty much be the same. It will now be Dockside Seafood Markets, and will be operated by Morey’s Markets, famous in the Midwest. Dockside will still be seasonal, operating April through December. (page 56)

In Alberta, Michigan

Closing: The Ford Center, owned by Michigan Technological University, as changed its operation. “Rentals to the public and access to the historical sawmill museum at the Ford Center (Alberta Village) have been suspended until a historic preservation plan and renovations are completed by Michigan Tech. For further information, contact Ken Vrana, associate director, at 906-487-3673 or kjvrana@mtu.edu.” You might also monitor their website, www.MTU.edu/forest/fordcenter. (page102)

In Bayfield, Wisconsin

Ethel’s at 250 at 250 Rittenhouse Avenue in Bayfield has new owners and is now The Copper Trout. (page 126)

Construction

One perennial Lake Superior-region joke is that around here, we have two seasons: Winter and Road Construction.

This summer is no exception with multiple construction projects large and small under way, but road work won’t dampen your fun if you know what’s coming, research alternative routes and bring along a little patience – and some good traveling music – to pass time happily through unavoidable slowdowns in traffic.

It’s also good to remember: road work delays today mean fewer axle-eating obstructions in the future.

This doesn’t mean you need to change travel plans, but there are information sites to help you plan. Allow extra travel time to ease anxiety. In construction zones, slow down and watch for workers.

If you dial 511 while in either Minnesota or Wisconsin, you will get road conditions for that state. Otherwise, here are websites, updated in summer, to help see what’s on the road ahead:

  • For Minnesota, you can get the latest statewide traffic information at www.511mn.org.
  • For Ontario, you’ll find an interactive map at the website www.mto.gov.on.ca. Click on the map to see road construction, planned roadwork, road conditions, incidents and closures. Or call 800-268-4686.
  • For Wisconsin, go online to www.dot.wisconsin.gov. Or use www.511wi.gov, or call 511.
  • For Michigan, go to www.michigan.gov/mdot and click on Major Projects Under Construction. Or you can try www.michigan.gov/drive to see construction, lane closures and restrictions for specific areas. You can also call 517-373-2160.

One of the main distractions and frustrations during summer road trips can be unexpected delays from road construction projects.

Given the short construction season around Lake Superior, we all know these projects are condensed into the same months as major tourist traffic. A great way to reduce the up-to-date information as possible about highway construction in the area(s) up ahead.

Thanks to Internet services from the three states and province around Lake Superior, this task is much simpler.

We suggest checking the following websites as your date of departure approaches to get the latest information.

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