St. Louis County Public Works received some state-recognition for a road project they worked on during the Summer of 2020.  The county department recently received the "Best In Class 2020" award for the work they did on the Rice Lake Road project  - a rebuild that was finished up this past fall.

The award comes from the Minnesota Asphalt Pavement Association.  According to details released by St. Louis County, the association honored the county with its Asphalt Pacing Merit Award for the significant improvements made along Rice Lake Road.

The scope of the project in distance wasn't very long; however, the improvements made were large in scale.  The work involved reconstructing more than half a mile of Rice Lake Road, widening the intersection at Arlington Avenue and Arrowhead Road, and making improvements to Technology Drive.  The area worked on is considered to have a high-traffic volume.  The finished work improved traffic flow and made safety improvements.  The roadway is also more accommodating to pedestrians and other non-vehicular forms of transportation.

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All told, the work totaled around $4 million and fell primarily under the oversight of St. Louis County.  However, the road project was completed in direct partnership with the City of Duluth.

The Minnesota Asphalt Pavement Association was formed in 1942.  Today, the association represents around "96-percent of Minnesota’s asphalt industry – approximately 23 asphalt producers along with 9 asphalt non-producers and 100+ associate members who supply materials to the asphalt pavement industry". The agency provides engineering assistance, training, and consultaton.

St. Louis County is the largest county in Minnesota.  It's comprised of 7,092 square miles and more than 200,000 people.

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