KEYC - New Bridge May Spark Tourism In Northeast Minnesota

New Bridge May Spark Tourism In Northeast Minnesota

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Officials in northeastern Minnesota believe a new highway bridge can spark economic development and help tourism by providing an entryway into the city of Virginia.
     Minnesota Public Radio reports that the 1,100-foot (335-meter) long U.S. Highway 53 bridge on the Iron Range sits more than 200 feet (61 meters) above the Rochleau Pit.
     Jim Makowsky, the general manager of two area hotels, says he thinks the bridge will be a tourist attraction.
     The bridge was built after mining company Cliffs Natural Resources told the state seven years ago that the highway had to be moved so the company could access iron ore underneath the highway.
     The project cost about $235 million. The federal government provided $30 million and the state covered the rest of the cost.