It's been over a year since work was stopped in certain areas of the Twin Ports Interchange project in Duluth. Workers discovered a human jawbone, and that triggered the "Unanticipated Discovery Plan.'

Under the plan, agencies and tribal nations must work together to prevent additional burial disturbances. At the time of the finding, MNDOT was still able to continue work on different parts of the project.

Monday MNDOT Public Meeting

In a meeting on Monday, night, MNDOT shared that they still anticipate being able to open 535 to 4 lanes by the end of 2024. They say they will have Highway 53 open and accessible to on and off ramps by the end of 2025.


A mild winter helped the project.

WDIO reports that the mild winter was useful to workers. They didn't have to brave sub-zero temperatures to do the work, and that brought some added efficiency.

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Detailed Status Of Twin Ports Interchange Project:

  • Construction: 2021-2025
  • Summer 2024: Lane closures for finishing work on I-35; Lower Michigan Street will be opened
  • Fall 2024: Complete Hwy 53/Piedmont Avenue down to 21st Avenue West; Complete Garfield Avenue/I-535 interchange, including ramps to/from I-535/Blatnik Bridge
  • Fall 2025: Complete remainder of Hwy 53 bridges, including ramps connecting to/from I-35 and I-535
  • Summer 2026: Landscaping and clean up

Read More: Extra Law Enforcement Now On Minnesota Highways

When the project is done, it should enhance safety by eliminating blind merges and left exits. It's also necessary to replace the aging infrastructure and improve freight mobility. The total estimated cost for the project is $435 million.

You can find more information about the project from the Minnesota Department of Transportations' project website. 

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Gallery Credit: Sarah Jones

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