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   Listening Point - General Discussion
      State Highway 1 Detour
 
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Last Visit: 09/01/2014 06:56PM
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inspector13  
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05/08/2012 03:50PM
 

A section of State Highway 1 will be closing Monday May 14th. This will affect anyone trying to get to the Tomahawk Road from Ely, and to get to Ely from both the Isabella area and by Highway 2 (from Two Harbors) this summer.

MNDOT Hwy 1 Detour page

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UncleMoose  
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05/08/2012 04:11PM
 
Hmm. They're closing off access to Tomahawk Road (FR 377) from Hwy 1. That will become a bit of a headache for many accessing entry points between Snake River and Isabella Lake.

But hopefully this means they'll keep all the ruts smoothed out of New Tomahawk Road (FR 424) to/from Babbitt, and perhaps this will also give the local Babbitt economy a temporary boost!
OneMatch  
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05/08/2012 04:24PM
 
Thanks for posting this. that is quite a detour route. I was hoping to come up from Sawbill to Ely in July via Hwy 1. Is this the only way?


We all have to believe in something. I believe I'll go paddle.
inspector13  
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05/08/2012 04:56PM
 
quote OneMatch: "Thanks for posting this. that is quite a detour route. I was hoping to come up from Sawbill to Ely in July via Hwy 1. Is this the only way?"


I think so. I compared that detour map to Google Maps and found no shorter way. Birch Lake is in the way.


Dbldppr1250  
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05/08/2012 07:20PM
 
Am I correct in thinking that the route from Duluth to Two Harbors, then thru Hwy 2 and Hwy 1 to Ely, would be much longer with the detour? I used to take 53 through Duluth and then 169 north to Ely. Guess that route is the way this summer.


Walking School Bus
marsonite  
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05/09/2012 06:11AM
 
Google maps adds about 12 miles to the trip by going through Babbit and considering that you are cutting off the worst section of Highway 1, that isn't bad. What will suck is that you have about 10 miles of gravel on the New Tomahawk road. Given the amount of traffic it is going to get this summer, that's probably going to be a long 10 miles.
bassnut  
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05/09/2012 06:46AM
 
Thank you for that update...I guess that will be my path in 2 wks.


"Blessed are the cracked because they let in light."
Minnesotian  
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05/09/2012 07:24AM
 

Here is some more information on it.


Hwy 1 Reconstruction


"We should go forth on the shortest walk, perchance in the spirit of undying adventure, never to return - prepared to send back our embalmed hearts only as relics to our desolate kingdom." - Thoreau
inspector13  
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05/09/2012 09:47AM
 
quote Dbldppr1250: "Am I correct in thinking that the route from Duluth to Two Harbors, then thru Hwy 2 and Hwy 1 to Ely, would be much longer with the detour? I used to take 53 through Duluth and then 169 north to Ely. Guess that route is the way this summer. "


Yes, when coming from points south of Duluth, you would save time getting to Ely by taking Highways 53 and 169.


tumblehome  
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05/09/2012 10:55AM
 
Beware,


Hwy 1 is in very bad shape right now. They are taking out the turns and adding a shoulder. They've been blasting all winter and it looks like a war zone. No matter how you make it around the area, plan on a long detour and allow a lot of time. It's a mess.


Tom
AndySG  
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05/09/2012 11:32AM
 
Thanks for post Steve and the travel advice. Ten miles of gravel road? No way. Looks like US 53 to Rte. 169 for me.


"I rather paddle in ignorant bliss than be arrogantly informed." ~ Kenneth Martenson
misqua  
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Photo Journal
05/09/2012 01:24PM
 
In my opinion Highway 1 is a beautiful old road, and should be left alone for posterity. However, the road engineers just cant leave anything alone. I have a place on a lake off of FS 172 and use HW 1 to get to Ely all the time. Sure you have to go slow and pay attention to your driving, but thats part of it. I HATE to see them cut down the trees to 50 foot back on each side, plant grass and try to make it look like a park. I know that people want to go 60 mph on that road, but that makes no sense at all.


It will not be an improvement in my eyes.
schweady  
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05/09/2012 02:55PM
 
quote misqua: "In my opinion Highway 1 is a beautiful old road, and should be left alone for posterity... ...It will not be an improvement in my eyes. "
So, is that why the MNDOT page felt the need to include this statement?: "The finished highway will be smoother, safer and will retain the unique, picturesque character of Hwy 1."



"You can observe a lot by watching." -- Yogi Berra
inspector13  
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05/09/2012 02:56PM
 

No problem Andy, I wonder if this will change Diva’s mind for her and JB’s possible visit to my cabin this summer.

AndySG  
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05/09/2012 05:50PM
 
quote inspector13: "
No problem Andy, I wonder if this will change Diva’s mind for her and JB’s possible visit to my cabin this summer.


"

If JB And Diva don't come to your cabin, Marsha and I will. Thanks again for the info friend.


"I rather paddle in ignorant bliss than be arrogantly informed." ~ Kenneth Martenson
Merganser  
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05/09/2012 08:50PM
 
I drove hwy 1 from 61 to the Tomahawk rd once. It was scenic... but slow. Narrow and lots of turns. 53/169 is the way to get to Ely. 53 is boring but straight and fast.


"That sort of thing is my bag baby."
moose664788  
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05/09/2012 09:11PM
 
quote inspector13: "quote Dbldppr1250: "Am I correct in thinking that the route from Duluth to Two Harbors, then thru Hwy 2 and Hwy 1 to Ely, would be much longer with the detour? I used to take 53 through Duluth and then 169 north to Ely. Guess that route is the way this summer. "



Yes, when coming from points south of Duluth, you would save time getting to Ely by taking Highways 53 and 169.



"



I normally take 53 to 169. This year I was going to try to take Rt. 2 from Two Harbors and then jump on Rt. 1. I'm kinda disappointed, I wanted to see a different route.


How much longer would it be it I took Rt. 2 from Two Harbors instead of taking 53 to 169?


I'd be coming from Central IL.
luft  
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05/10/2012 01:33AM
 
Well that puts a wrench in my idea of a "quick hop" into Ely this weekend on the way back from Sawbill!


Guess we will save that jaunt for a trip where we have a little more time
BWPaddler  
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05/10/2012 06:42AM
 
quote misqua: "In my opinion Highway 1 is a beautiful old road, and should be left alone for posterity. However, the road engineers just cant leave anything alone. I have a place on a lake off of FS 172 and use HW 1 to get to Ely all the time. Sure you have to go slow and pay attention to your driving, but thats part of it. I HATE to see them cut down the trees to 50 foot back on each side, plant grass and try to make it look like a park. I know that people want to go 60 mph on that road, but that makes no sense at all.



It will not be an improvement in my eyes. "

+1. That road in the fall is my trip to New England. I love it and don't care how long it takes to drive its curves. I love that it's in Minnesota.


Wherever there is a channel for water, there is a road for the canoe. -Thoreau
Zulu  
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05/10/2012 07:13AM
 
quote luft: "Well that puts a wrench in my idea of a "quick hop" into Ely this weekend on the way back from Sawbill!



Guess we will save that jaunt for a trip where we have a little more time"

I don't think the detour starts until Monday Luft.
inspector13  
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05/10/2012 10:56AM
 
quote moose664788: How much longer would it be it I took Rt. 2 from Two Harbors instead of taking 53 to 169?


I'd be coming from Central IL."


With wide open roads it takes about 2 hours to get from Duluth to Ely using 53 to 169. It takes about 2 hours and 15 minutes using 61 to 2 to 1. I have no idea how much longer it would take with the detour. I’ve never used that road to Babbitt, but as others have said it is a gravel road that looks much like any other forest road in the area.


AndySG: You are welcome anytime. I sent you my email address.

UncleMoose  
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05/10/2012 11:06AM
 
quote inspector13: "I have no idea how much longer it would take with the detour. I’ve never used that road to Babbitt, but as others have said it is a gravel road that looks much like any other forest road in the area."

I don't know if it's from heavier trucks using it (from the mining operations), or what, but New Tomahawk Road (FR 424 between Hwy 1 and Babbitt) tends to be bumpier than most of the local dirt roads. They try to smooth it out from time to time, but it doesn't take long for the ruts to reform. They did do a good job of smoothing it out this spring, but I haven't been through there in a few weeks. I was kind of hoping the detour would prompt them to keep it in better shape. It's a very useful road for folks in Babbitt.

There's also a portion of the paved road just after the dirt part (as you near Babbitt) that is currently being rerouted (mining operations are migrating a bit). I'm not sure how this will impact the detour, but just a heads-up that there may be some construction toward the Babbitt end as well. It's actually a good thing, as that particular section of "paved" road is arguably worse than the dirt forest road. Hopefully the reroute will result in a nice new paved section there (but then again maybe it'll just be left as dirt/gravel).
Instigator  
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Photo Journal
05/10/2012 11:08AM
 
Hwy 4 to Hwy 135 to Hwy 21 is another option for Duluth to Ely route if looking for a change of scenery. Maybe a few minutes longer than 53/169, but not much.
moose664788  
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05/10/2012 12:32PM
 
quote Instigator: "Hwy 4 to Hwy 135 to Hwy 21 is another option for Duluth to Ely route if looking for a change of scenery. Maybe a few minutes longer than 53/169, but not much."


I wanted to drive up the North Shore a bit to show my wife it, she's never seen it, but Guess I'll just go 53/169.
Instigator  
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Photo Journal
05/10/2012 01:44PM
 



I wanted to drive up the North Shore a bit to show my wife it, she's never seen it, but Guess I'll just go 53/169."


Understood, never enough time on vacations. Maybe you can adjust plans a bit for the homeward trip and leave an extra hour or so to take the scenic route down Hwy 1 and 61? Be a shame to have her so close and not experience some of the big lake shoreline.
h20  
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05/11/2012 03:19AM
 
No worries. Buy a Delormes atlas for minnesota. Take the back roads, slow down and see the rest of the state


Buy the ticket, take the ride .Dr. Hunter S. Thompson
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