More closures coming along I-35 interchange in Duluth

Brady Slater, Duluth News Tribune, Minn.
·2 min read

Apr. 17—Another week brings another update to road and bridge closures associated with the $343 million reconstruction of Interstate 35 through the Lincoln Park neighborhood in Duluth.

Beginning this week, Lower Michigan Street will close until fall as part of the Twin Ports Interchange reconstruction project, said a Minnesota Department of Transportation news release last week.

When Lower Michigan Street reopens in October, it will carry southbound I-35 traffic, serving as a temporary bypass to keep traffic flowing through the heart of the project.

In the coming days, motorists will also encounter routine closures for bridge and ramp inspections throughout Duluth. An outline of what's to come:

Monday

— Lower Michigan Street will close from near 15th Avenue West to 23rd Avenue West. The closure will be in effect until October. Once reopened, the section of Michigan Street will be utilized through the fall of 2022 to carry southbound I-35 traffic.

— Lane closures will occur on the Michigan Street bridge over Highway 194 (Mesaba Avenue) between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. A flagger or portable messaging sign will be in place. Alternating lane closures will occur under the bridge on the ramp to southbound I-35.

Tuesday

— Right-lane closures will occur at northbound Highway 194 and Superior Street and alternate lane closures will take place on Superior Street between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Monday, April 26

— The ramp from southbound I-35 to eastbound I-535 will close for inspection. Motorists will be detoured. The work was delayed a week.

— Southbound and northbound I-35 will undergo temporary right-lane closures for bridge inspections between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Wednesday, April 28

— Southbound I-35 just south of 27th Avenue West will experience right-lane closures for bridge inspections between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

The Twin Ports Interchange project features year-round construction, and is scheduled to last until fall 2024, with major work completed by the end of 2023.

Seven ramps along I-35 are marked for demolition in 2021. Reconstruction is being done to make roadways and bridges safer by removing left exits and blind merges found throughout the existing confluence of I-35, I-535 to Superior and U.S. Highway 53 toward the mall.

Right now, southbound I-35 is closed through Lincoln Park, and I-35 traffic is carried one way in both directions on what are normally the northbound lanes of I-35.

When southbound I-35 reopens in October, it will be as twin northbound lanes, leaving Lower Michigan Street as the two southbound lanes — making for four lanes of interstate driving during a time of heavy construction.

In that configuration, the northbound lanes will be closed to make room for construction on that side of the entire project.