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Drillers on a hard-rock core rig extract core samples from the lake-filled Rouchleau mine pit in Virginia Thursday. The rig is surrounded by a precautionary boom in case of any oil that might spill from the engine. Bob King / rking@duluthnews.com

Engineering challenges abound for routing highway across flooded Iron Range mine pit

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VIRGINIA — The view on the drive across the new U.S. Highway 53 bridge over the Rouchleau mine pit lake would be spectacular, with green trees decorating the red-rock ore cliffs and the emerald green water shimmering some 200 feet below.

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