Recently, the City of Duluth announced several projects that would impact traffic in the Northland. From the Twin Ports Interchange Project-related closures and detours to work on a small section of Central Entrance, these kinds of announcements are common.

Outside of the Twin Ports Interchange Project, these projects usually impact traffic for a relatively short time. This, however, is not the case for a new project that was just announced on Friday, October 20, and is already underway.

The City of Duluth announced that beginning Monday, October 23, a portion of Harbor Drive will close for seawall and Harbor Plaza reconstruction. This portion is a fairly well-traveled portion of Harbor Drive, going directly behind the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center.

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Based on the map provided by the City, you can see the closed portion, highlighted in red, starts across from the Great Lakes Aquarium and ends at the parking lot entrance that is across from the William A. Irvin.

Pedestrians and cyclists will have a detour along existing pathways and the Cross-City Trail, which is shown in green on the map below.

Courtesy of the City of Duluth
Courtesy of the City of Duluth

While the news release says it's a "temporary" closure, it's important to note that this closure is expected to last 12 months, meaning it will remain closed through the busiest of tourist months next summer, including Grandma's Marathon weekend.

Since this section of Harbor Drive is also part of the race course for Grandma's Marathon races, I reached out to ask if this would require altering the course for any race. Grandma's Marathon said that as of now, the City would make an exception for their races and the course would not need to be changed.

Also, construction traffic and DECC deliveries will be able to access this area throughout the next year, but the public will be prohibited. The public is advised to please stay clear of construction zones and exercise extra caution near this area.

The work will repair the deteriorating seawall to better accommodate maritime transportation and docking and create a new public plaza with separated pedestrian and bike trails. The repair work is supported by Minnesota State bonding and a U.S. Economic Development Authority grant.

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