Grandma's Marathon weekend is once again upon us and with all the races being sold out for the first time since 2016, the Northland can expect plenty of visitors and plenty of traffic throughout the weekend.

The Duluth Police Department sent out a full list of traffic advisories ahead of the 46th annual running of Grandma's Marathon, which should help both Northland residents and visitors navigate the area.

There are three total races that are a part of Grandma's Marathon weekend. The first is the William A. Irvin 5K, which begins at 6:00 p.m., but Harbor Drive behind the DECC will close to traffic at 4:00 p.m. Then, at 5:30 p.m., portions of Railroad Street will close to traffic for the duration of the race.

Other things to keep in mind for the William A. Irvin 5K include:

  • The Aquarium parking lot will not be accessible from 5:30 p.m. until approximately 7:15 p.m.
  • Access to the DECC during the race will be through the North Gate (on Railroad Street) or the East Gate (on Harbor Drive), from Lake Avenue or 5th Avenue West. Outbound traffic from the DECC will only be from the West Gate (5th Avenue West) from 5:00-7:30 p.m.
  • Vehicles on northbound I-35 exiting on the 5th Avenue West off-ramp can either continue straight to Lake Avenue to access the DECC Lot or turn right onto 5th Avenue West to access either the DECC Lot.
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Traffic is expected to return to normal by 7:30 p.m. Friday night.

Saturday, June 18, features the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon and then Grandma's Marathon. With races of this magnitude, a long list of road closures was issued and they begin as early as 3:45 a.m.

The first of the road closure advisories include:

  • Scenic Highway 61, along Lake Superior from Duluth to Two Harbors, will close to traffic at 4:15 a.m.
  • Scenic Highway 61, between McQuade Road and Ryan Road, will close at 3:45 a.m. for half marathon start set-up.
  • Motorists should slow down and be alert to special signing and lane closures on the Highway 61 Expressway just south of Two Harbors, starting at 4:15 a.m.
  • Lakewood, Homestead, Ryan, and McQuade Roads will close from the Highway 61 Expressway to Scenic Highway 61 at 4:15 a.m.
  • Harbor Drive, from the DECC East Gate to the Aquarium, will be restricted to buses only at 4:30 a.m. Harbor Drive will close to all traffic at 5:30 a.m.
  • Most avenues leading to London Road will close at 4:30 a.m.

Then, starting at 5:30 a.m., the following roads will close to traffic and will remain closed until the end of the Marathon:

  • All of London Road
  • Superior Street from 12th Avenue East to 5th Avenue West
  • Michigan Street from 4th Avenue East to 5th Avenue West
  • Commerce Street/Railroad Street, Lake Place Drive, and Canal Park Dr.
  • The southbound lanes of I-35 from 21st and 26th Avenues East will close at 4:30 a.m.
  • The northbound lanes of I-35 will close at 5:30 a.m. from Mesaba Avenue to 26th Avenue East. A detour will guide vehicles to 2nd Street to continue east.
  • Northbound traffic on I-35 will be diverted up Mesaba Avenue to 2nd Street at 5:30 a.m.
  • Westbound traffic on 1st St. will not be able to access Mesaba Avenue and will instead be diverted to Superior Street and I-35 at 6th Avenue West at 5:30 a.m

The Duluth Police Department expects Interstate-35 and most other roadways closed for the Marathon to reopen by approximately 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 18.

There is also a lengthy list of areas where access will be denied or limited and where detours will be in place. You can follow the link above to see the the complete list from the Duluth Police Department.

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