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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Mining firm vetoes Minn. highway reroute proposal

  • Three years ago, parent company Cliffs Natural Resources told the Minnesota Department of Transportation it would have to move the highway so the company can mine underneath it — something the state agreed to in 1960.
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  • A mining company has rejected a proposed reroute of a major highway in northeastern Minnesota.
    U.S. Highway 53 travels alongside United Taconite's open-pit iron ore mine in Eveleth. Three years ago, parent company Cliffs Natural Resources told the Minnesota Department of Transportation it would have to move the highway so the company can mine underneath it — something the state agreed to in 1960.
    MnDOT prepared four alternate routes. One would build two bridges over the active mining pit. But Cliffs says it can't support that plan because of air quality, safety and other concerns.
    A company spokeswoman tells Minnesota Public Radio (http://bit.ly/Z467Ro ) it was concerned about complying with air quality regulations if a four-lane highway went through the pit.
    MnDOT aims to have the new highway built by 2017.

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