Is it really a summer in the Northland without road construction along I-35 south of Duluth?  A summer-long project near Barnum is getting ready to get started next week.

According to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, drivers should expect to see the work zone established on I-35 near Barnum starting Monday, June 20. During construction, work crews will be making improvements and performing maintenance on the stretch of I-35 from 2.1 miles south of County Road 6 to 4.1 miles north of County Road 6.


During the initial phase of the road construction project, MNDOT crews will construct the median crossovers in preparation for two-way, head-to-head traffic traveling on southbound I-35.  During this stage of the project, drivers should expect daytime lane closures in the inside lanes.

Starting July 5, the northbound side of I-35 will close to traffic for the duration of the project.  Northbound traffic on I-35 will be shifted to the southbound side with a two-way, head-to-head configuration.

It's worth noting that this project will entail a lengthy detour for drivers who usually use Exit 220 at Barnum.  For about ten weeks, that exit will be closed to all traffic.  The detour will take drivers off of I-35 at Exit 214 through Moose Lake along Highway 73 and County Road 61 to Barnum.

Here's a look at that detour route:


During this project, MNDOT crews will remove the existing unbonded concrete overlay and install a new unbonded concrete overlay. Once finished, the end result will provide a smoother road surface, extend the pavement life, and reduce maintenance upkeep and costs all the way around.

Total cost for the work is $9.9 million.

Right now, the Minnesota Department of Transportation is looking at wrapping up all of the work by early October.  However - like any outdoor road construction project - the timetable is subject to change enabled by a variety of factors - from weather to unforeseen situations.

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