County Board Approves Resolution to Improve HWY 70
The Pine County board approved a resolution Tuesday requesting safety improvements to Highway 70. The highway has been the sight of multiple fatal crashes including one on New Year’s Day that claimed the lives of Robin and Michael Moris of Pine City.
County Commission Coordinator Mark LeBrun read the resolution.
The board agreed to send the resolution to Governor Tim Pawlenty’s office, as well as to state senators, representatives, and local elected officials.
A citizens group formed in the Rock Creek area with the goal of making changes to the highway. Blake Chaffee, with Congressman Jim Oberstar’s office, attended Tuesday’s board meeting. He said Oberstar wants to work with the citizens group to help make the changes to ensure safety on 70.
Part of the resolution requests the Minnesota State Patrol and Pine County Sheriff’s Office increase their patrols of Highway 70 to help reduce accidents.
At the January 5th meeting, the County Board approved the Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic (HEAT) grant. The grant will help pay for overtime hours so officers can provide extra patrols to roads that have statistically proven to be dangerous.
Pine County Sheriff Mark Mansavage said the highway is not only dangerous for motorist, but his staff, as well. He told the board that it is hard to pull drivers over on the highway because it lacks a shoulder.
The meeting of the citizen group, Cognressman Oberstar, local officials and law enforcement will take place sometime in February or March.