Smooth Sailing on I-35

popping-champagne-corkThis just in from the Minnesota Dept. of Transportation:

All lanes of I-35 in Duluth open to traffic
I-35 Mega Project substantially finished

DULUTH, Minn. – All Interstate 35 lanes and ramps in Duluth are open to traffic now that crews have completed the majority of work on the I-35 Mega Project.

All remaining work will be completed in spring 2012 and includes installation of median barrier, bridge painting and deck repair on the ramp from northbound I-535 to northbound I-35. This work will require a three-week lane closure on I-35 and closure and detour of the ramp.

Work completed on the I-35 Mega Project during the 2011 construction season includes:

  • Southbound I-35 bridge replaced at the ore docks.
  • Northbound I-35 bridge replaced at the paper mill.
  • Pavement replaced on southbound I-35 from 46th Avenue West to “Can of Worms.”
  • Pavement replaced on Cody Street ramps.
  • Bridges repaired and painted at the Can of Worms interchange.

Work ceased on the project for three weeks during the state government shutdown. Additional time was lost in returning equipment to the project and adjusting contractor schedules. In spite of major efforts by the contractors and sub-contractors to catch up, these delays prevented the project from being completed in fall 2011 as originally scheduled.

“The safety and infrastructure preservation improvements accomplished with this project will benefit thousands of motorists every day,” said Amr Jabr, MnDOT District 1 engineer. “We want to thank everyone for their patience. After many months of lane and ramp closures we hope everyone will be happy and proud with the finished product.”

The completed $68 million project includes two miles of new concrete pavement, five miles of repaired concrete pavement, total replacement of three 1000-foot-long bridges, improvements and repairs to 40 other bridges, ramp reconstruction work and the installation of 39 new tower lights that replaced more than 300 individual lights. These improvements will provide motorists with a safer, smoother ride for many years to come.

A bridge inspection scheduled for Monday, Oct. 31 will require alternating lane closures on I-35 near the “Can of Worms” interchange. This project is not part of the I-35 Mega Project. Neither is another inspection project occurring on Nov. 1 near the Can of Worms.

8 Comments

ironic1

about 8 years ago

Let me be the first to add a "w00t w00t!"

w00t w00t!

Erin

about 8 years ago

I think they sent out this press release just as I was driving past the removal of the last dastardly orange cones on the northbound side. At 4 pm, traffic was still backed up and people still refused to use the "zipper merge" tactic.

Chris

about 8 years ago

I almost want to drive downtown tonight even though I have no reason to do so.  Wonderful news indeed.  It looked close to complete this week, thanks for the official word Paul.

Bret

about 8 years ago

Beat me to it, but "woot woot!"

Rhetoricguy

about 8 years ago

While I appreciate all of the enthusiasm for the zipper merge, complaining that Duluthians don't use it is like complaining that they also avoid conflict in a passive-aggressive fashion.  

It ain't in their nature to change.  Changing would require a re-visioning of what the typical Duluthian presumes human nature to be.

Purple

about 8 years ago

Fuck yeah! This is definitely a post requiring positive use of offensive language. Although the faster traffic limits my ability to flash my boobs as I'm going through Duluth.

RS

about 8 years ago

Ditto to your positive use of offensive language, Purple.  It was nice to leave home late and still arrive at work on time.  Back to less than a half hour to get to work and I come from Cloquet.  Now if I could just teach the dog to use the toilet when she's sick, I wouldn't have to leave late...

Bas Luyten

about 8 years ago

Glad to be back in Europe. Sad to miss all your comments.

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