Summer may be over, but that doesn't mean that road construction and other related projects have stopped in the Northland.

Earlier this week, the Minnesota Department of Transportation announced they will be closing the Duluth-bound side of the I-535 Blatnik Bridge beginning Monday, Oct. 30, at 4 a.m. This closure will be in place for approximately one week as part of the Twin Ports Interchange project.

Traffic headed to Superior via the I-535 Blatnik Bridge will not be affected by this closure. Once complete, northbound traffic through the Garfield Interchange Area will reopen to single-lane access for motorists headed to Duluth and allow for direct access onto northbound I-35.

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Unfortunately for Northland motorists, that is not the only project that will impact traffic. MnDOT announced this week that two additional projects are taking place in Duluth.

One project involves completing the corrective paving work at the roundabout at Highway 194 and Midway Road/St. Louis County Road 13. This relatively short project will be happening on Friday, October 20, and Saturday, October 21.

Detour sign
Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth

MnDOT says that detours are required while work is occurring. Hwy 194 traffic will be directed to continue on Highway 53 to Caribou Lake Road. Midway Road traffic will be detoured onto Highway 53 to Lavaque Rd to Maple Grove Road. Detour routes will be posted with signage.

Another involves the often congested Central Entrance. The Minnesota Department of Transportation announced it has installed a right lane closure on eastbound Highway 194/Central Entrance in Duluth between Anderson Road and Basswood Road.

This is necessary to allow crews to repair the curb and pavement from storm damage. The closure is expected to last through Friday, October 27. As a frequent traveler of Central Entrance, I dread having to deal with this as it already can be pretty slow going during rush hours.

As is always the case with any road projects, motorists are reminded to drive with patience and allow for extra time to reach their destination. Also, be mindful of the workers who are out doing their job and are exposed to traffic.

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