You may think you know your way around Duluth without following a posted detour route, but officials are warning drivers that straying off of the official alternate routes can cause increased traffic congestion.

With southbound I35 closed for emergency repairs, the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Duluth Police, and the Minnesota State Patrol strongly urge drivers to utilize the pre-planned detour routes to avoid causing more congestion.

“It’s going to snow for the next two to three days and this will compound congestion and motorist delays,” said Pat Huston, MnDOT Operations engineer. “Until southbound I-35 reopens, the posted detour route is the fastest, safest and best way for people to go.”

MnDOT asks motorists travelling west on Lower Michigan Street to follow the posted detour and turn on 21st Avenue West to access I-35 at the “Can of Worms” interchange. Currently, most traffic is continuing west on Michigan Street to 27th Avenue West, causing traffic congestion at the intersection.