Minnesota Department of Transportation

TH 53 Anchor Lake

Rest Area & Roadway Improvements

TH 53 serves as the key regional corridor connecting local communities and serves as a vital economic link for businesses, industry, and tourism to Minnesota’s Iron Range, Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, and Voyageurs National Park.

One of the project’s goals was to improve ride quality and safety along 12.6-miles of the 4-lane divided highway section of TH 53 between Cotton and Eveleth, MN. The project included a bituminous mill and overlay treatment of the driving lanes, shoulder reconstruction, new guardrail and construction new turn lanes and key intersections along the corridor. The project also included rehabilitating the southbound TH 53 bridge over the St. Louis River, as well as replacing a weigh-in-motion and Road Weather Information System.

Another project goal was to rehabilitate the Anchor Lake Rest Area infrastructure by repairing the auto and truck parking areas, reconstructing the rest area ramps, installing a new lighting system, and adding various pedestrian and accessibility improvements.

Project Type Rehabilitation
Location Cotton, MN
Completion Date October 2019
Size 12 miles
Aerial view of rest area Improvements

Rehabilitated Rest Area

The Anchor Lake Rest Area improvements included new pedestrian and parking LED lighting system, new picnic tables and benches, sidewalks and staircases to access rest area shelters, and ADA infrastructure, including ADA push button stations to enter the rest area building. The parking lots received a concrete pavement rehabilitation treatment, and the driving lanes were reconstructed.

Design details accommodated drainage and winter snow removal.

Bridge Crossovers

As part of the traffic control plans, LHB designed a set of median cross-overs to facilitate two-way traffic during the bridge construction work at the St. Louis River Crossing. The crossovers were designed to remain in place for multiple years to facilitate a future bridge construction project over the paired northbound crossing bridge.

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