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Superior Street to Reopen Nov. 15

Updated: November 07, 2019 10:29 PM

After a second year of major construction, Superior Street will reopen to traffic for the winter on Friday, Nov. 15.

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The road has been closed from Superior Street to 4th Avenue East since April. The city says workers encountered many hurdles including record-breaking rainfall, an unexpected 20-by-20-foot crane pad that had to be removed, and shallow bedrock that hindered water main reconstruction.

“Northland and the city staff were out here essentially six days a week since April until now and we actually switched to a seven day a week schedule for the last three weeks as well, to try and push through,” Duncan Schwensohn, Senior Engineer for the City of Duluth said.

The 300 block of East Superior Street does not yet have permanent concrete on either the roadway or sidewalk and will have a temporary asphalt surface for the winter.

“Doing cold weather concrete work is not a real good idea. No matter what you do, you’re going to sacrifice quality so we just decided that we aren’t going to push it any more than we did this year,” Schwensohn said. “You’ll be able to drive on it just fine, but then we’ll come back next year when the weather is a little bit nicer and remove that and put down the permanent concrete road.”

Construction crews say that the timing of this works out well because it will align with construction in the spring for a new apartment building and Essentia's Vision Northland project. Therefore, they will be able to better determine exactly how much road will receive permanent concrete at that time.

“I think it would have been nice to be able to finish, but with the additional work required for the Essentia project and the apartment project and everything, I think all in all , I’m not real unhappy with the way we’re ending,” Schwensohn said.

Next year's work will take place in the core of downtown, from Lake Avenue to 3rd Avenue West. A public meeting on the next phase of the project will be held on Nov. 19 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at the Holiday Inn, in the Lake Erie/Ontario room.

Work from 3rd Avenue West to 7th Avenue West was mostly completed in 2018.

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