Groundbreaking set for new Public Works facility in Cook

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Public Works Department  • Richard H. Hansen Transportation & Public Works Complex
4787 Midway Road, Duluth, MN 55811 • Phone: (218) 625-3830

James T. Foldesi, P.E.
Public Works Director/Highway Engineer


June 12, 2018

MEDIA CONTACT: Dana Kazel, Communications Manager

218-725-5049 (office) • 218-591-2219 (cell)

Groundbreaking set for Wednesday for new Public Works facility in Cook

St. Louis County leaders will break ground Wednesday, June 13, at 10:30 a.m. for a new Public Works Maintenance Facility in Cook. The groundbreaking will take place at 9558 Ashawa Road, which previously was the site of Disability Associates. 


The $23 million project encompasses a 60-acre site and will involve renovations to one building and constructing three new ones. The project will include constructing an 82,000 square foot heated building for vehicle storage and mechanic space, a 16,500 square foot cold storage building, and a 16,500 square foot structure for salt and sand storage. The existing Disability Specialist Building will be remodeled into office space for Public Works and several other county departments. 

The new facility will provide a centralized base for crews serving a more than 2,000 square mile area of the county including Cook, Linden Grove and surrounding areas from Side Lake to Kabetogama to a portion of the Echo Trail. Approximately 567 miles of county roads, as well as various contracted roads and driveways, will be maintained from this new facility.

"Our public works crews do an amazing job clearing many miles of roads after winter storms," said Commissioner Mike Jugovich, who chairs the Public Works Committee. "Having this centralized facility, with the improved storage garages for our vehicles, will help our folks do their job more efficiently while keeping our vehicles in better condition longer."

"This area of the county includes a lot of miles of important county roads that need to be maintained," said Tom Rukavina, whose district includes the new facility. "This investment shows our continued resolve to serve all our residents and communities. And, of course, I hope this facility leads to more county staff being located in the Cook area."


The project is expected to be completed by late fall of 2019. Once operations are consolidated in the new facility, the existing facility in Cook will be closed. Meanwhile, the existing facility in Linden Grove will be converted into a depot for salt and sand storage.

Cook Public Works facility
A depiction of what the new Public Works Maintenance Facility in Cook will look like upon completion in the fall of 2019.