Friday Notebook

The Vikings open their four-game 2019 preseason schedule at New Orleans at 7 p.m. today (WDIO 10/13).

C.J. Ham of Duluth will start at fullback and on special teams for Minnesota, which soured to 8-7-1 and missed the playoffs a year ago.

The Vikings’ 2019 preseason schedule:

Today — at New Orleans Saints, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 18 — host Seattle Seahawks, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 24 — host Arizona Cardinals, noon
Thursday, Aug. 29 — at Buffalo Bills, 6:30 p.m.

. . .

From MnDOT: Southbound I-35 in Duluth will have lane closures next week for maintenance repairs. The right lane of southbound I-35 from the Cody Street onramp to Thompson Hill will be closed Monday through Thursday for maintenance on drainage, concrete repair, shoulder work and guard rail repair.

. . .

Back-to-School Resource
Fair Wednesday at Harbor Highlands

For many low-income families, the back-to-school season can be a stressful time due to the pressure of providing their child(ren) with school supplies and clothing. The National Retail Foundation found that families with children in elementary school through high school will spend an average of $684.79 per child on back-to-school shopping.

“When students lack the necessary items for school it takes more learning time away from the class, and students have gaps in their education and miss the opportunities for hands-on learning experiences,” said Melissa Fanning, community services branch executive director at Duluth Area Family YMCA, which will will host a Back to School Resource Fair on Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Harbor Highlands Community Center.

“Furthermore, they tend to lack in acceptable behavioral patterns and their grades and test scores begin to suffer,” Fanning said.

Free backpacks and school supplies will be distributed to the first 50 youths at the free family event, which is open to the public. Essentia Health will provide a healthy dinner and will provide free helmets for all with fitting. Community Officers will be there to instruct on bike safety and participants can join them for a group ride around the neighborhood.

The City of Duluth Parks and Recreation Department will be leading outside activities for youth. Lake Superior College will also be at the event with popular mascot Hawkeye.

Local organizations tabling at the event include Amberwing, American Lung Association, City of Duluth-Parks and Recreation, Duluth YMCA, Duluth Public School-KEY Zone Out of School Time Program, Duluth Edison Charter Schools- Eagle’s Nest After School Program, Harbor Highlands Community Center, Youth Outdoors-Duluth, True North AmeriCorps, Essentia Health, Hillside Farmers Market, Power of Produce – POP, CHUM, Lake Superior College, Children’s Dental Services and more.

Festival of Sails traffic
and marine traffic advisory

By Kate Van Daele
The Festival of Sails will be in Duluth this weekend and is expected to bring the largest number of visitors to Duluth — for an event — for the entire year.

The festival begins with the grand parade at 9 a.m. and ends at 11 a.m. on Sunday. Following the parade, the festival gates will open until 7 p.m. The festival will run on Monday and Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Duluth police officers will be posted throughout the Canal Park area to assist as needed during the Parade of Sail. Drivers in the area should expect traffic delays and should remain alert to heavy pedestrian traffic. People attending the Parade of Sail are encouraged to park in the Downtown area and walk to Canal Park to help reduce traffic congestion and delays.

The following contains details of street closures, detours, and parking restrictions:

Street closures and Parking Restrictions
Harbor Drive, from the East Gate of the DECC to the Aquarium Lot entrance, will close to traffic from 10 a.m. today until Tuesday evening.

On Sunday, beginning at 7 a.m., metered parking along the east side of South Lake Avenue from the Aerial Lift Bridge to Railroad Street will not be allowed. Parking will reopen following the Parade of Sails.

Canal Park Drive from Buchanan St. to the Marine Museum, and all of Morse St., will close to traffic after parking lots in the area have filled, for the Parade of Sail on Sunday from 8 a.m. until traffic in the area thins out (approximately noon to 1 p.m.).

Lift Bridge Hours and Marine Traffic during the parade
The Aerial Lift Bridge will operate on its regular lift schedule with the exception of the Parade of Sail. The bridge will close to marine traffic after 8 a.m. and will be lifting for the parade starting at 9 a.m. The lifts can be expected to be longer than normal to accommodate the tall ships. After the parade, the bridge will return to the usual hour and half hour lifting schedule.

The Minnesota Slip Bridge will operate on restricted hours during the Festival of Sails. From 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. the bridge will be lifting at quarter past and three quarters past the hour (example 9:15 and 9:45). This will allow any vessels leaving the Minnesota Slip time to make the Aerial Lift Bridge hour and half hour lifting schedule. During the Parade of Sail, the bridge will be in the lowered position beginning at 7 a.m. and will not lift until the parade has concluded.

. . .

Sidewalk construction to temporarily
close shoulder on Haines Road

St. Louis County is adding a sidewalk along Haines Road on the border of Hermantown and Duluth that will create a link from U.S. Highway 53 to Arrowhead Road and up to the county jail. Construction begins Monday and will result in temporary shoulder closures along Haines Road.

The concrete sidewalk will stretch 0.8 miles along the west side of Haines Road between 53 and Arrowhead Road, and on the east side of Haines between Arrowhead Road and the jail.

The project is part of a continuing effort by St. Louis County Public Works to serve the needs of all modes of transportation and to identify gaps in the system for bicyclists and pedestrians.

“We’ve been improving the sidewalk system in this area as part of other projects on Arrowhead Road, Rice Lake Road and farther south on Haines Road,” said Steve Krasaway, St. Louis County Resident Engineer. “But we’re hearing from the public that this section is a missing link, and so we worked to secure funding to make it safer for all modes of transportation to travel along this route.

The $450,000 project is expected to be complete in October.

Duluth Fourth Fest 2019 traffic advisory

The City of Duluth will host the annual Fourth Fest Celebration in the Bayfront area today.

Limited parking will be available at the DECC parking ramp, the Great Lakes Aquarium lot, and in the parking lots on Railroad Street west of 5th Avenue West. Parking is also available in Downtown Duluth parking ramps.

Traffic congestion will grow in the Bayfront area as the day progresses. During late afternoon, it is advisable to park Downtown and walk to Bayfront.

Starting at approximately 6 p.m., Harbor Drive behind the DECC will close to traffic for the evening to accommodate the large number of pedestrians that gather to watch the display.

The Aerial Lift Bridge will remain in the down position from 7 p.m. to 1 p.m. Friday.

The Minnesota Slip pedestrian bridge between the DECC and Canal Park will be down for pedestrians to cross from 8 p.m. until 11:30 p.m.

Fireworks will begin at 10:10 p.m. and last 20 to 25 minutes.

At the conclusion of the fireworks display, vehicles in the Canal Park and Park Point area should expect long delays, and access to the Canal Park and Park Point areas will be restricted for approximately one hour after the fireworks have ended. If you need to get to those areas, it is suggested you arrive there before 10 p.m. to avoid the delay.

The Duluth Police Department will provide traffic control at the end of the fireworks to facilitate the smooth exit of vehicles and pedestrians from the area. Be aware of officers and watch for their directions. Drivers caught going around police barricades or cones may be cited.

Your patience is appreciated during this busy event. Cans, bottles (other than one empty water bottle per person), coolers, and pets are not allowed in Bayfront during Fourth Fest. Empty water bottles can be filled on site.

There is no admission charged at Bayfront for Fourth Fest, which will be held rain or shine.

Duluth to celebrate Independence Day today

The City of Duluth and the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center announced that the traditional July 4th festivities will be delayed to July 5th in the interest of public safety and due to the high risk of rain and thunderstorms this evening.

The “Fifth Fest” events at Bayfront Festival Park will follow the same schedule with gates opening at 4 p.m for the public to enjoy vendors and free musical performances starting at 4:30 until 10 pm. The fireworks display will then light up the beautiful clear night sky at 10:10 pm and will last about 20-25 minutes. The Aerial Lift Bridge will also be lit red, white and blue.

For those heading down to Bayfront, here are some reminders:

. Please remember that pets are not allowed in Bayfront Park for these festivities.

. Limited parking will be available at the DECC parking ramp, Great Lakes Aquarium Lot, and in parking lots along Railroad Street west of 5th Avenue West. It is advised that event participants park in the downtown area and walk to Bayfront. Several downtown parking ramps are located within a few minutes walking distance to Bayfront Park and are accessible by taking the Michigan St. exit from I35 north bound or the 5th Avenue West exit from the I35 off ramp. Follow the blue parking signs.

. Harbor Drive behind the DECC will be closed to traffic beginning at 6 p.m. to accommodate pedestrians

. The Aerial Lift Bridge will remain down from 7 p.m. to midnight and will not lift for water vessels.

. The Minnesota Slip Bridge will remain in the down position from 8 p.m. to 11:30 p.m for pedestrian access

At the conclusion of the fireworks display, motorists in the Canal Park and Park Point area should expect long delays, and access to the Canal Park and Park Point areas will be restricted for approximately one hour, until most of the congestion in that area has been alleviated. If you need to get to those areas, it is advised you arrive before 10 p.m. to avoid getting caught in the congestion.

The Duluth Police Department will be providing traffic control at the end of the fireworks to facilitate the smooth exit of vehicles and pedestrians from this area. Be aware of officers and watch for their directions. Drivers caught going around police barricades or cones will be cited.

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