As work progresses on the Twin Ports Interchange Project, a variety of additional closures and traffic impacts will occur.  One round that will begin in early August will affect the way that Highway 53 connects with I-35 - both north and southbound.

According to details released by the Minnesota Department of Transportation, drivers who need to access Highway 53 from I-35 (or vice-versa) will need to follow the posted detours and expect delays. Here's a breakdown of what Highway 53 ramps will close and when:

  • Ramp from northbound I-535 to Northbound Highway 53 - starts August 2
  • Ramp from southbound I-35 to northbound Highway 53 - starts August 2
  • Ramp from southbound Highway 53 to northbound I-35 - starts August 9
  • Ramp from southbound Highway 53 to southbound I-535 - starts August 9

Like we said, an official detour will be posted and drivers will be asked to follow the signs.  However, generally speaking, those posted detours will direct drivers towards the Garfield Avenue exists and infrastructure that connects to Piedmont Avenue.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation expects traffic impacts for this segment of the total project to be large. Drivers are asked to allow for extra drive time and to exercise proper work zone safety measures.

Later this summer - and at some point before winter, additional large-scale traffic impacts will come to the I-35 corridor near the Twin Ports Interchange (Can of Worms).  At that time, all southbound I-35 traffic will be moved to Lower Michigan Street in two lanes between Garfield Avenue and 22nd Avenue West and northbound I-35 will be diverted to the existing southbound lanes of I-35.  MNDOT suggests that two lanes of traffic in each direction will be in play at that time.

That configuration of I-35 will remain in place until some point next fall (fall of 2022).  At that point, both northbound and southbound I-35 traffic will be moved back to the newly-completed northbound I-35 lanes.  Two lanes in each direction will be maintained.  Additionally, the ramps connecting I-35 to I-535 will reopen.

Work on the Twin Ports Interchange project continues through the 2023 summer road construction season, with all ramps and roadways reopening to traffic in the late fall.  However, MNDOT says that some finishing work will occur during the early summer months of 2024.

Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth

To get complete details about the Twin Ports Interchange project, click here to visit the project page on the Minnesota Department of Transportation website.  MNDOT also provides a wealth of information and resources about all of the other road work it coordinates throughout the state; click here for full details.

Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth

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