The Minnesota Department of Transportation announced a southbound I-35 closure that will impact Duluth at the end of the week and last into the weekend.

According to MnDOT, on Friday, March 19, southbound I-35 will close near 27th Avenue West in Duluth. This, of course, is the 'can of worms' area that is familiar to everyone in the Northland. The closure will begin at approximately 8:00 p.m. and last through Saturday, March 20, including some Saturday evening hours potentially. During the closure, be advised that traffic will be routed up and back down the 27th Avenue West ramps.

During this particular closure, crews will be setting precast bridge girders over the southbound lanes of I-35 and begin building the deck for the new 27th Avenue West Bridge. MnDOT adds that crews will be working all week in that general area the week of March 15 to additional work, including:

  • Backfilling behind the abutments of the 27th Avenue West Bridge.
  • Working on the substructures for two of the four bridges connecting I-35 and Highway 53.
  • Installing sheeting and shoring required for excavation to construct the outlet position of the new culvert for Miller/Coffee Creek.
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All of the work referenced above is related to the Duluth Interchange Project. The goal of the project, as stated by the Minnesota Department of Transportation, is to "enhance safety by eliminating blind merges and left exits, replace aging infrastructure, and better accommodate freight movements through the interchanges next to the Clure Public Terminal."

In summary, the project will reconstruct I-35/I-535/Hwy 53 interchange to improve safety by:

  • Providing a new conventional design
  • Relocating all exits and entrances to the right side of the roadway
  • Improving merging sight distance and eliminating merge conflicts
  • Eliminating weaving problems near the interchange
  • Providing lane continuity for through I-35 traffic

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