Updated: 12/11/2013 5:32 PM
Created: 12/11/2013 5:26 PM WDIO.com
A portion of I-35 in Duluth reopened on Wednesday after three weeks of repairs. Drivers said it will save them time a some stress.
Cars and trucks merges smoothly off ramps that were full of snow and ice just 24 hours earlier. Still drivers remember the detour delays caused by the closure of I-35 between Lake Avenue and 27th Ave. W.
“I actually timed it once and it was 15 to 20 minutes from downtown to 27th Ave. W.,” Pamela Page said.
“It was rough having to go all the way around and then get caught up with the traffic being so back up all the way to the library,” Lachonce Buckner said.
Page said the recent snow and sub-zero temperatures made it troublesome to trek along the detour on Superior and Michigan St.
“Just a lot of traffic coming out of downtown especially, and trying to get home in the slippery conditions it made it kind of scary sometimes,” Page said.
Minnesota Department of Transportation engineers said that weather made the repair process slower, especially setting the concrete underneath the roadway.
The engineers said contractors braved the cold and snow to replace a large section of steel that supports the interstate. Estimates put the cost around $750,000, but drivers said it was worth it.
“Very, very, very happy. Yes, very happy, and I think it's going to be safer,” Page said.
MnDOT officials said the repairs were prompted by the discovery of significantly compromised support pilings. The engineers said the freeway is now safe for travel, but they will inspect the pilings again next summer.
New Stop Sign Gives Kids Safer Walk to Myers-Wilkins
City officials hope a new stop sign on Ninth Street and Eighth Avenue East will make the walk to school safer for students at Myers-Wilkins Elementary. The sign was put in largely at the request of the Duluth Police Department, and school personnel and parents.
Driver Suffers Substantial Burns in Truck Explosion
A truck driver suffered substantial burns after an equipment malfunction caused an explosion in his vehicle Tuesday. Duluth fire officials said the truck was carrying waste oil when a pump backfired, igniting the vapors inside. The driver's condition is unknown.
Leaders, Fans Celebrate Wade Stadium Renovations
With a row of gold-painted shovels, a fresh start for an old favorite. Construction is underway at Wade Stadium in Duluth. There was a ground breaking ceremony Tuesday with city and state leaders.
MNsure Trying to Fix 'Life Event' Changes Backlog
Minnesota's new health insurance exchange is struggling with a backlog of people making changes to coverage through the online marketplace.
Florida Man Walks Across Country Sending Positive Message
Many people in Duluth love to get outside and exercise, but a man from Florida was in town on a walking trip across the country. Steve Fugate started his journey back in March 2013 and has been to 30 states so far. He has walked 7,000 miles with 18 states left to go.