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Interstate construction begins – expect delays!

Construction zone
Construction zone

It’s called the Duluth Interstate MegaProject and we’ll be living with it for the next three years. Construction will slow traffic on the heavily traveled section of I-35 from the Information Center at Thompson Hill on through town to where the freeway ends on 26th Avenue East and London Road. There will be delays, but MNDOT promises one lane traffic each way through the construction period.

An overview of the Duluth Interstate MegaProject

According to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Interstate 35 in Duluth from Boundary Avenue to Mesaba Avenue was constructed in the late 1960's. It has reached the end of its expected life span and is requiring high maintenance due to its age. The segment of I-35 from Mesaba Avenue to 26th Avenue East was opened in 1992 and the pavement is in need of major repairs.

MNDOT is saying the reconstruction and major repairs are scheduled over a three-year period. The work includes pavement replacement and repairs, replacement of fracture critical bridges, removal of unused bridges, bridge repairs, barrier replacement, addition of shoulders and other safety features, drainage and profile corrections. Also included will be Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) components such as fiber for improved emergency communications. 2010 construction will begin in early May.

The project will reconstruct I-35 for the next 40 years, increase safety and reduce maintenance. Overall cost of the project is $81 million.

Traffic Impacts during Spring-Fall 2010

  • Closure of northbound I-35 and diversion of traffic to the southbound lanes from Central Avenue to Garfield Avenue (April – November)
  • Closure of I-35 and diversion of traffic to the opposite lanes from Boundary Avenue to Central Avenue (May – September)
  • Detour of trucks from Thompson Hill on I-35 to Midway Road and Hwy 53
  • Ramp closures from Boundary to Garfield Avenues
  • Lane closures from 5th Avenue West to 26th Avenue East and traffic restrictions at 26th Avenue East intersection (July/August)

For a complete overview of the project over the next three years, including suggested alternate routes go to the MNDOT website --