Roads reopening after spring flooding

Life in Henderson is slowly getting back to normal as the Minnesota River slips back into its banks.

State transportation officials reopened Hwy. 93 last week with some restrictions until permanent repairs can be made after spring flooding shut it down for 46 days. City officials expected Hwy. 19, which was closed March 19, to reopen soon.

The flooding cost the Sibley County community, about 50 miles southwest of the Twin Cities, about $3 million, Mayor Paul Menne said. With both thoroughfares closed, truck traffic bypassed the town and forced many residents to spend more time and money navigating alternate routes.

Although a levee protects the town, flooding has forced the road closures seven of the last 10 years, Menne said.

He and other city officials hope the Legislature will approve a flood mitigation project north of town this year.

Mary Lynn Smith


Water is restored at Blue Mounds Park

Over the past five years, Blue Mounds State Park lost more than a third of its annual campers because of an E. coli contamination in the park’s well.

But park manager Chris Ingebretsen hopes business bounces back this summer after water service was recently restored.

“We’re already full for Memorial Day weekend for reservations,” he said.

Water service was first disrupted in 2014. To fix the problem and build a new water line, crews had to drill and blast through the park’s quartzite bedrock, a process that was complicated and time consuming.

David Mullen


Panel weighs in on parks, housing

The city of Duluth is poised to buy 450 acres of tax-forfeited land to expand Lester Park, as well as 30 acres near Enger Park.

Meanwhile, the city and an advisory committee recommend selling part of the Lester Park golf course after this season and improving the Enger Park golf course. They also recommend considering redevelopment of part of the Lester golf course for multi­family housing, including some affordable units.

Duluth has an expansive network of wooded city parks, one of the amenities officials have been capitalizing on to promote its outdoors feel. Golf courses, however, have been struggling around the state and nation.

The City Council is expected to consider the matter this month.

Pam Louwagie