Last summer my wife and I had a very enjoyable excursion on the Lake Superior & Mississippi Railroad. It was a great tour for the views and also for the history of the railroad and of Duluth. The guide on the tour did not sugarcoat or romanticize anything. So we got to see and learn about an actual EPA Superfund site that will be cleaned up, along with the Mud Lake site restoration and cleanup.

After talking with railroad volunteers, including a lengthy discussion with a Duluth resident at Hoops Brewing, I decided to look into the current controversy over the possible removal of the causeway over Mud Lake.

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I came away with the impression that city government is viewing this issue as having only one choice: to remove the causeway. While I am not an engineer, it certainly seems to me there is another choice: to create a way for water to flow between Mud Lake and the St. Louis River underneath the causeway without destroying the train tracks on top of the causeway. I don't know if such an idea was eliminated early because of perceived high costs or if an idea along these lines has not been seriously considered.

My wife and I travel a lot across America. We love the environment and local history as well. We had a wonderful time in Duluth. The city seems quite vibrant and on a very positive economic rebound. Duluth residents were very welcoming and helpful to us. A major contributor to this takeaway impression was our wonderful trip on the Lake Superior & Mississippi Railroad. We hope this excursion can be experienced by others in the future with the existing tracks to what is clearly the destination at Boy Scout Landing.

Doug Hillmer

Silver Spring, Md.