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How long will Highway 60 be closed?

Dear Answer Man, I got caught by the detour on Minnesota Highway 60 east of Zumbro Falls over the weekend and was not very happy about it. How long will that road be messed up? — R.C.

That important east-west road from Wabasha through the bluffs to Zumbro Falls, Mazeppa and U.S. 52 closed last Monday for replacement of a bridge. It's closed from Wabasha County Road 13 to County Road 32, and it won't reopen until mid-October.

County Road 13 is the first major north-south road east of Zumbro Falls, and CR 32 is halfway to Dumfries, so it's a major obstacle for anyone wanting to get from Zumbro Falls to Wabasha.

How to get around it? It ain't easy, but you can go east on Minnesota 60 for several miles, go north on County Road 4 for several miles, go east on County Road 10 for several more miles and you'll wind up on U.S. 61 a few miles north of Wabasha. Not the simplest route, but probably the best.

The alternative is to go south on County Road 13 and come up and around on County Road 86, just west of the Zumbro Bottoms wildlife management area, but that trip's more for a Jeep than a Camry.


As a bonus, since this matter was quickly addressed, here's a little something a reader shared with me last week after my magnificent report on timber rattlesnakes. The DNR says the last reported fatality due to a timber rattler bite in Minnesota was in the late 1860s, but  Jon Gabrielof Tucson, Ariz., believes otherwise:

"There is an almost-ghost town called Jarrett, or Jarrett Mills, in Wabasha County, between Hammond and Millville, and if my rapidly fading memory serves me right, there was a death there from a rattlesnake bite in the late 1940s."

I'm guessing Jon's memory is better than he says it is. I, for one, intend to add a snakebite kit to my backpack, the next time I go camping in the bluffs.

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