Traffic Is Going To Get A Lot Nastier Between Duluth + Superior Starting Thursday, But Hope Is In Sight
UPDATE 10/19/23 - MNDOT has announced the lane closures have been postponed until October 30.
ORIGINAL STORY -
The Twin Ports Interchange Project has been underway since 2021, and it's been a headache for commuters, especially those who travel between Superior, Wisconsin, and Duluth, Minnesota. While it's been an inconvenience, it's also been a necessary project as MNDOT has needed to replace the aging infrastructure, enhance safety, and improve freight mobility. Still, it's been a pain in the butt for motorists.
Just this last Saturday I was caught in bumper-to-bumper stopped traffic because of an accident shutting down a lane. There was also a UMD hockey game happening that night. With all the traffic, the accident, and people driving down from the North Shore on I-35, it took an hour to make it from Lake Avenue to 27th Avenue West.
Closures beginning Thursday, October 18, 2023
Starting Thursday, MNDOT will be closing Duluth-bound traffic on the Blatnik Bridge for 2-4 weeks.
Superior bound traffic off the Blatnik Bridge won't be affected beyond the normal one-lane closure. However, Superior is going to face a lot of congestion on Belknap Street from all the traffic being routed over the Bong Bridge to Duluth. On peak traffic times, Belknap Street faces blocked intersections near Banks and Tower Avenue.
As of October 18, the upcoming traffic impacts from MNDOT are as follows:
- Beginning Thursday Oct. 19, at 6 a.m. - The Duluth bound side of the I-535 Blatnik Bridge will close for 2 to 4 weeks. Traffic headed to Superior via the I-535 Blatnik Bridge will not be affected by this closure.
There's hope in sight!
The good news is that following this closure, we'll be able to access I-35 North Bound off the Blatnik Bridge, according to the Superior Telegram [Paywall]. The connection to Highway 53 and South Bound I-35 will remain closed. Still, that will be a huge improvement.
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