Grants awarded for port projects around the state

The Minnesota Department of Transportation announced $5 million in grants last week for four projects that support freight movement on Minnesota’s waterways.

The funding from the Port Development Assistance Program will help leverage local and private funding for a total construction program of $8 million.

• The Duluth Seaway Port Authority will receive $2.2 million for additional vessel mooring and storage area at the facility, to allow for dredging to full seaway depth and to stabilize existing failing timber and concrete dockage.

• The St. Paul Port Authority will receive $1.8 million to install a rail spur extension, rehab a connecting rail spur and pave a reinforced loading and unloading pad in the Southport Terminal.

• The Wabasha Port Authority will receive $454,876 for construction of a new barge terminal, which will include dredging of an existing access channel and placement of the dredge cut material on an adjacent barge terminal site to raise elevation to create a five-acre terminal pad and access road.

• The Winona Port Authority will receive $454,512 for a project to install new paved drives, retention ponds and reinforced concrete piping and inlets designed to redirect stormwater.

staff report

Red River Valley

Threat of spring floods ‘very low’ along Red River

The threat of spring floods along the Red River in eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota is “very low,” says a forecast released last week by the National Weather Service.

The area is below normal for snowfall, and soil moisture is low, according to the 90-day forecast. Predictions for the second half of winter are for near to below average temperatures and near to above average precipitation.

“It’s definitely better than it has been. Last year we were pretty worried,” said Amanda Lee, a weather service hydrologist/meteorologist based in Grand Forks.

The flood season for the Red River Valley is usually mid-March to mid-April. The weather service will release an updated flood forecast in mid- to late February.

The Red River flood of 1997 caused billions of dollars in damage, reached 3 miles inland and reshaped the cities of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks and Breckenridge.

Mark Brunswick


Night tours of mansion can now include spirits

Glensheen Mansion is breaking with typical museum protocol and adding an extra feature to this winter’s flashlight tours: alcohol.

Now a 21-and-older tour, a ticket will include a special pint glass with a sippy cup top, so tourists can carry their drinks throughout the historic home with less chance of spilling. The tours will also be smaller — limited to just six people — and guests will gather around a fireplace in the newly opened Carriage House living room. A cash bar will be available.

The flashlight tours will operate Friday and Saturday evenings through March 17.

Pam Louwagie