After months of construction to resurface County State Aid Highway 101, the work is done and signs are now in place announcing the road’s new honorary name: Representative Joe Begich Highway. The eight-mile stretch spans from Highway 53 east of Eveleth to County Road 62 west of Mountain Iron.
The St. Louis County Board last April voted unanimously to rename the road in honor of Begich who represented Iron Range residents for nearly 30 years, first as mayor of Eveleth from 1965 to 1974, and then as state representative from 1975 to 1992.
“Wherever Representative Begich went, his heart was always on the Iron Range,” said Commissioner Keith Nelson. “With the completion of the St. Louis County Highway 101, we now have a road in the heart of the Iron Range named in his honor.”
In addition to his work in elected office, Begich served four years in Korea with the United States Army Infantry. He was also a longtime employee of Erie Mining Co. where, even as part of the management team, he was known as an advocate for working people and for defending the unions’ rights to collective bargaining. In addition to his own involvement in politics, Begich is the brother of former United States Congressman from Alaska, Nick Begich, and the uncle of former United States Senator from Alaska, Mark Begich.
The renaming of CSAH 101 is considered a dual name initiative, and will not affect addresses of any homes or businesses along the road.