It's been a long pandemic - over a year and a half - and we've come to expect and accept a few things that we might not have before it started.  Masks.  Social distancing.  Irregular business hours.  Shortages.  Guidelines.  The list seems never ending.  And, I would offer that as static as most humans are (i.e. we don't like change), we've become pretty resilient during the last 19 months or so.

Many things that changed early on during the pandemic have gone back to normal - or whatever that means these days.  For the most part, bars and restaurants are back to being fully open - at least as much as the labor shortage will let them.

But some things haven't gone back to the way they were before, either.

One of things that changed early on was access to and hours for the skywalk system in downtown Duluth.  In an effort to control the potential spread of the virus, and to stem off the (probably) impossible task of sterilizing the entire corridor, the decision was made to just close the doors and not provide access to the general public.

Steve Tanko

This closure for the skywalk system lasted for a few months, until transmission rates, vaccinations, and the like allowed for the system to reopen. In particular, the passageway from the Downtown Transit Center east towards the DECC remained closed a little bit longer than the rest of the hallways, but that eventually opened to pedestrians, too.

But has the skywalk fully reopened?  The answer to that question would be 'no'.  Two stretches of the skywalk remain closed  - both at opposite ends of the system.

Steve Tanko

Although they finally opened the skywalk that runs from Maurices to the Radisson, the underground tunnel that runs from the Radisson to the Duluth Public Library remains gated off and closed.  Earlier, there was a temporary sign that warned you that the tunnel to the Duluth Public Library was closed - but that's gone, too.

Steve Tanko
Steve Tanko

Similarly, the skywalk passage that goes from First Street towards City Hall and the county building remains closed off to the public.  It's worth noting that this particular stretch was closed even before the pandemic started due to construction. However, similar to the library tunnel, the temporary signage that explained this has disappeared.

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When will these two ends of the skywalk reopen?  I tried to get the answer.  I emailed the city - twice - without receiving a response.  Perhaps we'll luck into finding the passage was open one day by chance.

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