40th Avenue West to close for two days for road work

A road resurfacing project will close 40th Avenue West between Grand Avenue and 8th Street in Duluth on Monday and Tuesday next week. This segment of 40th Avenue West is actually a county road. It and Haines Road together are officially known as County State Aid Highway 91.

Signs will be in place detouring traffic to use 8th Street, 46th Avenue West, and Grand Avenue as detours.

KGM Contractors is the contractor on this $250,000 mill and overlay project. — St. Louis County press release

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.

St. Louis County, City of Duluth celebrate completion of 4th Street project

It’s been more than four years since the first public input meetings were held, and 24 months — parts of three construction seasons — since digging began to rebuild 4th Street and replace the utilities that run beneath.

On Tuesday, representatives of St. Louis County and the City of Duluth will join together to celebrate the completion of this $13.8 million project.

The project included the rebuilding of approximately two miles of 4th Street, the replacement of water, gas and sewer lines, plus new sidewalks, curbs and gutters, street lights, bike lanes, landscaping and various safety improvements. Originally expected to be complete last year, the project was slowed by a rainier than normal summer in 2017, the discovery of more rock than had been predicted and other challenging site conditions.

“The rebuilding of 4th Street is now the single largest project undertaken by our Public Works department, surpassing even our work on Haines Road and Highland Street following the flood.” said Commissioner Patrick Boyle, whose district includes the project area. “To the residents, business owners, and anyone else who travels along this street, we thank you for your patience, and trust you will appreciate the many improvements made for decades to come.”

The work was necessary because the street was 30 years old and in poor condition. Meanwhile, the utilities were 100 years-old in places. Funding for the project came from federal and state aid, city funds and transportation sales tax revenue. KGM Contractors of Cook, Minn., served as project contractor.

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