Gladen Construction wins bid for Itasca-Heartland Trail tunnel

We are part of The Trust Project.

Gladen Construction Inc. of Laporte was awarded the bid to construct a tunnel under U.S. Hwy. 71.

This is part of phase 1 of the Itasca-Heartland Connection Trail, a multi-purpose, paved trail between Itasca State Park and the Heartland Trail.

“I am happy to report that we were successful in awarding a contract for the construction of the Heartland State Trail-Trunk Highway 71 tunnel at Itasca State Park,” said Kent Skaar, senior project manager for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Parks and Trails Division. “I believe that we will be well served by Gladen Construction, who completed two projects for me this year with great results.”

Eric Haugland told the citizen-led committee that championed the project that prep work at the tunnel site begins this winter and installation of the 12-by-12-foot boxed culvert tunnel is expected by next fall.

Haugland said the Minnesota Department of Transportation approved the following schedule:


  • Projected tree clearing for the project to start after Jan. 3, 2023 and be completed by March 31, 2023.
  • Tunnel installation to begin on Sept. 5, 2023, with completion no later than Oct. 7, 2023.
  • Final project completion and contract closeout on or before June 7, 2024.
"All of our races said it was one of the funnest races that they’ve done," said Cor Powersports owner Todd Myers.

Shannon Geisen is editor of the Park Rapids Enterprise.
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