As the massive Twin Ports Interchange project moves forward, more and more smaller, yet related projects pop up that impact traffic in the area.

According to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, one such supporting project will get underway on September 14 in Duluth. Beginning Wednesday, traffic from Port Terminal to Garfield Avenue will be detoured onto Helberg Drive in Duluth.

This detour is not a short-term deal, as it's expected to be in effect thru the 2023 construction season. Furthermore, the traffic from Garfield Avenue to Port terminal will also be detoured onto Helberg Drive within the next few weeks.

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This is another part of the I-35, I-535, Hwy 53 Twin Ports Interchange Project. MnDOT says that once the entire project is completed, it will "enhance safety by eliminating blind merges and left exits, replace aging infrastructure, and better accommodate freight movements through the interchanges next to the Clure Public Terminal."

In summary, the reconstruction of the I-35/I-535/Hwy 53 interchange promises to improve safety by:

  • Providing a new conventional design
  • Relocating all exits and entrances to the right side of the roadway
  • Improving merging sight distance and eliminating merge conflicts
  • Eliminating weaving problems near the interchange
  • Providing lane continuity for through I-35 traffic

MnDOT has said work on the Twin Ports Interchange project will continue year round. The video below shows what the freeway will look like when completed from a motorist’s view heading north on I-35 through the Twin Ports Interchange area, then heading to southbound I-35 from I-535, or the Blatnik Bridge, through the Twin Ports Interchange area.

Northland motorists are reminded to please drive with caution when approaching any detours or work zones.

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