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      New timber bridge nears completion in Grand Marais

      Deep in the woods of Grand Marais, construction continues on a new timber bridge far off the beaten path on Old Seney Road.

      "The purpose of the new bridge is to improve stream quality to eliminate erosion to the Sucker River," said Bob Lindbeck of the Alger County Road Commission.

      P rotecting the water from erosion and sedimentation played a pivotal role in securing funding for the new bridge.

      T he nearly $300,000 project is completely paid for through an Environmental Protection Agency grant from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

      T he road commission worked with the Alger County Conservation District to use that money on four infrastructure projects, including the bridge project.

      "It was opportune for us because the bridge was limited in capacity and had some significant structural issues," said Lindbeck.

      C ommunity leaders say a new structurally sound bridge can serve as a key link in a remote area.

      "We have logging trucks that can't run over it, we always have the issue of fire trucks out in that area," said Jack Hubbard, Burt Township Supervisor. "We know how important, after the last forest fire we had, how important it is to have that road open all the way through there."

      R oad commission crews are expected to have the approaches to the bridge cleared and paved by the end of July.