Mission Creek project to restart

Just above the road construction site at 132nd Avenue West and Third Street in Fond du Lac, adjacent to the Mission Creek bridge, a Native American burial site was found. (2017 file / News Tribune)

A bridge project just south of Duluth will begin again from scratch after construction work disturbed a Native American cemetery.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation halted the Mission Creek project in spring 2017 after a neighbor reported concerns about a burial site and workers uncovered human remains. MnDOT apologized at the time to the Fond du Lac Band. Many were angered that the desecration happened despite five years of development and planning.

MnDOT Information officer Stephanie Christensen said the state archaeologist has been completing recovery work ever since the work was halted.

"We started putting soil back next week, and once all the soil is returned, the state archaeologist can designate and once we know the boundaries of the cemetery we can begin the development process."

Christensen said the area around the cemetery will also be landscaped. The planning process usually takes about three years, although Christensen says MnDOT will try to get it done sooner.


"The main issue with the bridge is to address flooding concerns and so of course that is something important that we want to get done. However we are addressing that through other ways in the meantime," she said.

Minnesota Public Radio News can be heard in Duluth at 100.5 FM or online at

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