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Highway 33 roundabout project begins May 21

A pickup truck waits to cross the northbound lanes of Minnesota Highway 33 to get to the ramp to northbound Interstate 35. The site has been the scene of numerous accidents over the years. (file / News Tribune)

The Minnesota Department of Transportation will begin a roundabout construction project Monday on Minnesota Highway 33 in Cloquet.

Motorists will encounter shoulder closures on northbound and southbound Highway 33 and also on the ramp from southbound Interstate 35 to Highway 33, MnDOT reported in a news release.

The closures are necessary while crews create bypasses that will be used during construction of the roundabout. The project is expected to be completed in October.

The interchange has been the site of several serious crashes in recent years, including fatalities, namely when drivers traveling south on Highway 33 attempt to turn left to head north onto I-35.

"In the 10 years up to 2015 we had five very serious accidents there and two fatalities, which is way above the average, and all of them were T-bone-type crashes where people turned in front of oncoming traffic," Jim Miles, traffic engineer for MnDOT's Northeastern Minnesota district told the News Tribune last year.

For more information, visit the project website at mndot.gov/d1/projects/i-35-cloquet. For updated road condition information, call 511 or visit 511mn.org.

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