Posted at: 03/25/2013 4:43 PM
Updated at: 03/25/2013 5:51 PM
Congressman Rick Nolan made a visit to United Taconite on Monday, to learn more about the relocation of Highway 53 for mining.
He said that seeing the mine was impressive, and gives people a better understanding about the importance of the industry to our region.
When briefed about the relocation of Highway 53, he said he wants to make sure the solution is workable for businesses, mining leaders, and residents.
Mn/DOT announced on Friday that they are going to re-open the process of finding alternatives.
The mining company, Cliffs Natural Resources, said that the route through the pit is not feasible.
An alternative that has been unpopular is being brought back to the table. It would mean the road would divert onto Highway 37 and then 7, up to Mt. Iron.
"I think everyone can agree that's a non-starter," said Nolan on Monday.
Mn/DOT said that more public input will be sought in this process, and that because more options are being looked at again, the 2017 deadline may not be met.
Nolan said he will also have to work on funding at the federal level.
After the visit to the mine, he went up to the Ely/Tower area to discuss the proposed project on 169 in the Eagles Nest location.