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Storm raises Lakewalk repair cost

Part of the boardwalk behind Fitger’s was damaged during a recent spring storm event. Howie Hanson / Duluth Times

Lake Superior’s fury a week ago has raised the cost to repair damaged portions of Duluth’s Lakewalk.


Following an October storm, repair costs had already reached several million dollars. The storm from April 13 to 15 added about $600,000 to $700,000 to the total, Mayor Emily Larson said this morning.

“This is a part of what people expect to experience when they come here, so fixing this is not an option. It’s what we’re going to do,” she said at a news conference behind the Fitger’s complex, where part of the boardwalk was damaged and closed.

Beyond what is visible to walkers, there is damage beneath the boards that can’t be seen that poses a safety threat, Larson said.

Money for the repairs will be sought from state coffers, said city Property and Facilities Manager Erik Birkeland. The TRC marine engineering firm currently is working to assess the damage, he said.

It is not all in one place – some is by the Great Lakes Aquarium, some is in Canal Park, some is behind Fitgers and random damage is located in other places

“Starting later this week, we will be meeting with our consultants,” Birkeland said. Work will begin this season but likely won’t be completed until next summer.

“The bad weather has really delayed us,” he said. — By Ron Brochu,