Update: Duluth Twin Ports Interchange Project Facing Supply Chain-Related Delays
Recently, the Minnesota Department of Transportation shared a drone video that provided a glimpse of how the work on the Twin Ports Interchange project has been coming along.
They also announced a public update on the ongoing project would be held on August 29. That meeting did take place and unfortunately MnDOT had some disappointing news to share in regard to the project timeline.
According to our media partners at WDIO-TV, Peter Marthaler, the Twin Ports Interchange Construction Manger, announced that due to supply chain shortages, the opening of the bridges connected to I-535 has been pushed to the fall of 2023.
The main culprit is the type of concrete needed for the project. The type of concrete required for the Twin Ports Interchange is Continuously Reinforced Concrete Pavement. Unfortunately, it's very rare and that is the reason for the supply chain shortage.
MnDOT acknowledges this will cause the slowed traffic on Garfield Avenue to continue. To help combat the issue, traffic lights will be installed next week to improve safety in that area.
Furthermore, with Garfield Avenue currently over capacity with traffic to and from Superior, Wisconsin, motorists are encouraged to travel over the Bong Bridge.
On the positive side, access to and from I-35 will be available for this fall and winter.
The northbound off ramp to 27th Avenue West will reopen Thursday, with stop signs being installed for intersection safety purposes.
MnDOT says work on the Twin Ports Interchange project will continue year round. The video below shows what the freeway will look like when completed from a motorist’s view heading north on I-35 through the Twin Ports Interchange area, then heading to southbound I-35 from I-535, or the Blatnik Bridge, through the Twin Ports Interchange area.
The Twin Ports Interchange Project, which will reconstruct the I-35/I-535/Hwy 53 interchange, looks 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