Updated: September 21, 2021 06:12 PM
Created: September 20, 2021 11:07 PM
The next big change in the ongoing Twin Ports Interchange project will be on Monday, Sept. 27, when another part of the former "can of worms" will close and interstate traffic will shift onto what is normally a city street.
The interchange is the intersection of I-35 and U.S. Highway 53/I-535 south of downtown Duluth.
Currently, I-35 is down to one lane of traffic in each direction, with both lanes of traffic in the former northbound lanes.
Starting Sept. 27, southbound traffic will shift to Lower Michigan Street, which has been temporarily converted to carry the interstate traffic.
"Right now, you shift to the very left. On Monday, you'll be shifted to the very right, on two lanes," Pete Marthaler explained. He's the construction manager for the massive project.
"We have concrete barriers on the upper side of Michigan, so traffic won't intermingle," Marthaler said.
The speed limit will be 40 mph in that stretch, but delays should actually lessen because there will no longer be any head-to-head traffic.
And eventually, on October 8th, northbound traffic will become two lanes and shift to the old southbound lanes.
Meanwhile, the exit ramp from southbound I-35 to I-535/southbound U.S. Highway 53 (the Blatnik Bridge) will close starting Monday. The ramp is one of the last pieces of the old interchange still standing.
Once the ramp closes, the official detour from southbound I-35 to Superior will take drivers to the Bong Bridge (U.S. Highway 2). Drivers can still access the Blatnik Bridge from Garfield Avenue.
MnDOT will be hosting another virtual update on Monday at 12:15pm. http://mndot.gov/d1/projects/twin-ports-interchange/meetings
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