Southbound drivers on I-35 between Duluth and the Twin Cities should anticipate delays and a detour along their route.  The Minnesota Department of Transportation is alerting drivers that the repaving and resurfacing project near Barnum has started and with it comes a lane switchover and a detour.

According to the details shared by MNDOT, the northbound traffic lanes of I-35 near Barnum will switch over to the southbound lanes, effective July 7.  I-35 traffic in that area will be in a head to head, single lane in each direction configuration for the next 70 days as work crews resurface the highway and replace the existing concrete unbonded overlay.

In addition to the closure and direction switch for the northbound lanes of I-35, there will also be a ramp/exit closure and detour.  To facilitate the work, Exit 220 - the Carlton County Road 6 off-ramp - will be closed for the duration, with a posted detour for drivers to take. That detour will take drivers to Exit 214 through Moose Lake along Highway 73 and County Road 61.

Due to the high volume of traffic that usually travels through that area - especially during the summer months - MNDOT is advising drivers to anticipate delays.  Those delays could become extra-long during peak travel times and on weekends.

MNDOT will spend an estimated total of $9.9 million dollars on the work, which will provide a smoother road surface, extend the pavement life, and reduce maintenance upkeep and costs.

For now, the estimated timeline for completion of the work is early October.  However, MNDOT advises drivers that a variety of factors can affect the completion of the work - from weather to unforeseen situations.

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