Duluth's East Side: Prepare For Detours And HWY 61 Road Construction

By KBJR News 1

April 8, 2013 Updated Apr 8, 2013 at 10:30 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Detours are underway on Duluth's East side due to construction on the lakewalk extension.

Congdon Boulevard north of sixty first avenue east is closed and temporary traffic signals and orange cones are directing drivers to alternate routes.

The detour signs were placed before noon Monday and temporary traffic signals were installed shortly after.

For the next 11 weeks, drivers will be re–routed from Highway 61 and Scenic 61 to East Superior Street and 60th Avenue East.

The alternative route is in preparation for the construction on the pedestrian tunnel under Congdon Boulevard then on Duluth's Lakewalk system.

The project engineer says the detours will last up to 11 weeks and Highway 61 is scheduled to reopen on June 19th once the tunnel construction is complete.

"Ultimately, avoid the area if you can—if there are alternate routes you have and know of, take those. Otherwise plan extra time there will be congestion. We saw that the last time we did this detour and we will probably see it again. We will improve the detour any way we can and get you through as fast as we can, but there will be delays," Matt Decur, City of Duluth Project Engineer, said.

Decur says excavation will start on the tunnel's foundation east of 61st avenue.

Areas surrounding Highway 61 will then be backfilled and the roadwork completed before Grandma's Marathon weekend.

Lakewalk construction will continue for the remainder of the summer and does not include any planned detours.

The Lakewalk extension is in its final stage and by the end of the summer the path will span from 26th Avenue East to Brighten Beach.

The nearly 3000 additional feet of Lakewalk is scheduled to be open on October first...just in time to enjoy those beautiful fall colors.

Justin Reis, NNC.