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Feds Allot $20M for 'Can of Worms' Reconstruction

The federal government has allocated $20 million for reconstruction of the can of worms. The federal government has allocated $20 million for reconstruction of the can of worms. |  Photo: WDIO-TV file

Created: December 06, 2018 04:15 PM

The U.S. Department of Transportation has allocated $20 million for the reconstruction of the Twin Ports Interchange, though much more funding will be needed to complete the major project.

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The interchange, known informally as the "can of worms" for its many curving ramps and bridges, is the intersection of I-35 and U.S. Highway 53 just south of downtown Duluth.  The southeastern leg doubles as the beginning of I-535, leading to the Blatnik Bridge.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation estimates the entire project will cost between $250 and $275 million.  The $20 million announced Thursday by northeastern Minnesota's Congressional delegation will come in the form of a Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development (BUILD) Grant.

"What a Holiday gift!" Rep. Rick Nolan said in a news release. "This federal grant is a monumental win for Duluth and our entire region, allowing our long-awaited and massive highway and bridge reconstruction project to go forward, driving business, commerce, and tourism and helping create and support hundreds of good paying jobs."

MnDOT says construction on local roads is expected to begin next year, with construction of the actual interchange beginning in 2020 and continuing for three years.

Besides replacing aging infrastructure, planners say the project will make the intersection safer by eliminating blind merges and left exits and will also improve the movement of freight through the area.

More information is available at www.dot.state.mn.us/d1/projects/twin-ports-interchange.

Copyright 2018 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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