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Fire district looks for state funding sources

Work to complete the Minnesota Highway 23 culvert replacement project at Perch Lake near Gary New Duluth will begin May 13. Contractors will begin mobilizing heavy equipment to the site on May 7. Motorists should expect a signal-controlled single-lane bypass. Work is expected to last about one month. A final phase of work to install a recreational bridge on the adjacent Marten Trail is expected to take place later in the summer.

The culvert replacement is a part of a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Minnesota Land Trust habitat restoration project to restore and enhance coastal marsh wetland habitat, improve fish and wildlife passage, and improve water quality by enhancing Perch Lake's connection to the St. Louis River Estuary.

Perch Lake was once a bay off the estuary. The construction of a railway and Highway 23 embankments greatly reduced the connection. A narrow 4-foot culvert is being complemented by a 12-foot by 16-foot culvert to increase the circulation of water flow and fish passage between the bodies of water and allow navigation by small watercraft for improved recreational access.