City and community officials broke ground last week on an innovative project known as a deep winter greenhouse. It is part of a larger Edible Duluth program, which aims to promote, develop and create sustainable edible landscaping on public property.

The site at 45th Avenue W. and Grand Avenue was acquired by the city after the 2012 flood damaged a former church on the property. A collaboration with community partners led to a master design for the site, which included the greenhouse on the northern portion and a community garden on the southern portion.

A deep winter greenhouse is a passive solar greenhouse designed to dramatically limit the amount of fossil fuel required to grow crops in northern climates. Crops suited to production include a variety of lettuces, herbs, brassicas, Asian greens and sprouts.

The greenhouse should be completed this fall with planting expected this winter, the city said in a news release.

Mark Brunswick


State’s highest bridge will open on Iron Range

Towering 204 feet over the Rouchleau Pit, the state’s highest bridge will be officially dedicated Friday. The route should open to traffic sometime later that day.

The $156 million bridge project on Hwy. 53 between Virginia and Eveleth was made necessary by a quirk set in motion decades ago: The state built a highway on land it didn’t own. The mining company that owned the land notified the state a few years ago that it wanted to mine underneath the highway, and following plans made long ago, the state began looking for a new route for Hwy. 53 across that section of the Iron Range.

The bridge route was chosen over other plans that would have sent drivers miles out of the way or through an active mining pit.

Some 3.2 miles of four-lane road were built to accommodate the new route. The project’s total cost was estimated at $220 million. The bridge is slightly taller than the High Bridge in Duluth. Snowmobilers and cyclists can use the new bridge, too.

The dedication ceremony will take place at 10:30 a.m. with Lt. Gov. Tina Smith and U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan expected to be on hand. More information can be found at

Matt McKinney


Sports Center celebrates its 10th anniversary

Duluth officials and community members gathered Saturday to kick off a series of events celebrating the city’s 10th anniversary of the opening of the Essentia Duluth Heritage Sports Center.

At Saturday’s event, the center unveiled eight new giant banners placed outside the building designed by artist and Duluth native Tim Cortes. They each reflect community values such as commitment, courage, dedication and integrity.

The center, built in 2008, houses Duluth’s high school hockey teams, amateur hockey association and Boys & Girls Club.