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Fallen Logs Cause Duluth Detour

Updated: 02/07/2014 2:26 PM
Created: 02/07/2014 12:36 PM WDIO.com

Some East Duluth drivers encountered a detour Friday morning after a logging truck lost part of its load at the intersection of London Road and 26th Avenue East.

The Duluth Police Department said the family-owned logging truck was turning from westbound London Road to southbound I-35 when some of the logs came off the truck.  Some of the logs hit a vehicle that was eastbound on London Road, causing minor damage.

No one was injured.

The Duluth Police Department and Minnesota State Patrol blocked eastbound lanes of London Road at the intersection while the logs were cleared.  Traffic was still able to flow in other directions.

A similar incident happened near the intersection in Dec. 2012.

Though the accident did not occur in downtown Duluth, Mayor Don Ness said it underscores the importance of getting logging trucks out of downtown.  Trucks often use Superior Street instead of I-35 because of interstate weight limits.

"If this spill had occurred in the heart of downtown, it could have been very dangerous - even deadly," Mayor Ness said in a statement.  "We have been asking our Congressional delegation to step up and act for quite a while. They have been supportive, especially Congressman [Rick] Nolan, but now we need action."

Mayor Ness also asked truckers to use other roads through downtown, such as 2nd and 3rd Streets, to minimize deterioration of Superior Street.

Earlier this week, Rep. Nolan asked Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to determine whether Foxx has the authority to temporarily exempt large logging trucks from interstate weight restrictions.  Otherwise, Nolan said he will introduce legislation to give Foxx the authority.

"The situation in Duluth is difficult for drivers and pedestrians on Superior Street, especially during this winter, when the piles of snow are further restricting space and vision. It’s also difficult for the truckers, whose preference would be to use I-35 and travel around the city," Nolan said in a statement.

Even if more logging trucks were allowed on the interstate, trucks headed from the North Shore would still have to travel on London Road through East Duluth, since I-35 doesn't begin until 26th Avenue East.

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