Duluth-Bound Ramp From Blatnik Bridge Closing
It's going to be a "major" change for Northland drivers - especially those who commute from Superior to Duluth. And even though it's temporary - it's long-term.
Officials with the Minnesota Department of Transportation are alerting drivers to the upcoming closure of the ramp that comes off the Blatnik Bridge from northbound 535 to northbound I-35. Said differently, this is the ramp that allows Duluth-bound traffic coming across the Blatnik Bridge to head northbound on I-35 towards downtown and the North Shore.
The closure will start on Monday, November 1. The reason behind it is so that work crews with the Minnesota Department of Transportation can start demolition work. That demolition is tied to the major, multi-year Twin Ports Interchange project in that area.
To accommodate the closure, a signed detour will be in place for drivers. Signs will instruct drivers in Superior who need to cross the St. Louis River towards Duluth to instead use Highway 2 and the Bong Bridge, eventually exiting that and traveling northbound on I-35 towards downtown Duluth or the North Shore.
The closure and demolition of the ramp leaves the Blatnik Bridge as an 'interstate island'; while the bridge is open for traffic in both directions, it no longer has a direct connection to I-35 in either direction (northbound or southbound). This configuration will remain in place until work progresses and the new Twin Ports Interchange system is built and eventually opened.
Officials with the Minnesota Department of Transportation have shared that "[t]his will be the last major traffic change for the Twin Ports Interchange project until fall 2022". Timeline details on MNDOT's website for the project suggest that "all new ramps are scheduled to be open to traffic by fall of 2023".