How should MnDOT proceed with the Hwy. 53 reroute in Virginia?
The middle alternative should be pursued, regardless of Cliff's preference.
30 votes (40%)
The easterly option is an acceptable option, even if it means the road will have to be moved again someday.
15 votes (20%)
The westerly option is best because it does not encumber any known ore reserves
30 votes (40%)

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6 comments on this item

Cliffs makes the decision regarding building over the mine. You can thank the EPA for putting the brakes on that option. In the event that someone's vehicle broke down on the road over the mine, and the occupant/s had to stay in the vehicle for 24 hours, the mine would have to shut down. As if that would ever happen. The anti- business government some folks have elected should be proud!

I guess I've said it before, I'll say it again. The mining companies determine where the road will go. Always been that way, it will be that way again. Why? The politicians we elect privately bow down to the mining company management. Forget about what they say in public, that's political theatre. It's what they do when you are not looking that matters. The road most likely will go through Iron and West Virginia, because that is where the mine wants it to go. Over and out.

I would have to think that the mine is using this as leverage. Somewhere, behind some door, some deal will be made and Cliffs will come out all gracious and say that MNDOT can build the road through the mine. And Cliffs will be sitting on a larger bank account or lower royalties or some benefit that the little people will never hear anything about

rk: I would love to share your optimism, but I'm too old and not sold. Cliffs isn't leveraging. They are stonewalling. I hate to share realism with you, but the road will not go through the pit. Why you might ask? Because they don't want it there. Money. They can control the politicians with money. They can control the union with concessions the labor bosses want, mostly for themselves. If you can get the politicians to stand strong (good luck) and the unions to be honest with their members (good luck) and demand the road go through the pit, you stand a chance. The one thing the mining companies have never been able to control is general public opinion of their operations and the upstream lawsuits they see filed against them. Having the general public driving through their operations without an escort is something they absolutely can't tolerate...they can't control them. I hope the road goes through the pit, but I'm an old man now and worked for the mines for years in both administrative and coolie positions. I really believe I've heard it all. Sorry.

I read in the emaciated Mesabi Daily News that the local and state politicians are manning up on this issue. First time I can remember this ever happening. I hope my prognostications are wrong about where the highway will go and I hope all the political posturing isn't just window dressing. If the highway finally goes through the pit, I'll be the first to say I was wrong. Hope springs eternal.

Alea iacta est

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