DULUTH – Superior Street reconstruction enters its fourth year on Monday as workers finish the last few blocks of the downtown artery, parts of which will be closed for several months.
"We are excited for the project to be done and for Superior Street to be the jewel of downtown," senior engineer Duncan Schwensohn said in a news release Friday.
The $31.5 million project was supposed to wrap up last fall, but weather and other factors delayed the final stages into this year. Access to businesses and pedestrian crossings will be "prioritized" throughout the work, the city said.
"We recognize that businesses are recovering from the implications of COVID-19, and we want to do everything to ensure that access to their storefronts are open and accessible during construction," Schwensohn said.
The stretch of West Superior Street from First Avenue to Third Avenue will close Monday, followed by work on East Superior Street between Third Avenue and Fourth Avenue beginning June 21. Construction on the roadway and sidewalks is expected to be completed by the end of August.
Lane and ramp closures have also begun on the Twin Ports Interchange, aka the "Can of Worms," around the Interstate 35/Hwy. 53/Interstate 535 interchanges that MnDOT will spend the next several years reconstructing. A stretch of E. First Street remains closed near the medical district in downtown Duluth as construction on a new Essentia Health campus continues.
On Friday the city launched Construct Duluth, which includes a virtual map that allows travelers to see where road construction is happening across the city, including short-term work such as gas main relocation and signal painting that could cause detours.
The site also highlights opportunities for construction careers as the building trades desperately seek new workers amid the spike in local projects and a long-running decline in the overall labor force because of COVID-19.
"The investment that is happening in Duluth as a part of all of the construction is a huge testament to getting our community to where we need to go next," said city spokeswoman Kate Van Daele.
Brooks Johnson • 218-491-6496