Superior Street Reconstruction

Frequently Asked Questions

Overview

The City of Duluth is planning to reconstruct Superior Street, including all underground utilities, from 7th Avenue W to 4th Avenue E. The existing brick pavers, installed over 20 years ago, are at the end of their lifespan. In 2013, portions of the bricks were removed and replaced with asphalt due to the extent of deterioration. This temporary solution was initiated with the understanding that a long-term design process would be undertaken.

The revitalization project includes replacing and repairing public utilities, improved pedestrian connections, wayfinding, new streetscape and lighting as well as increased amenity space. 

 

No. The existing bricks continue to deteriorate and will be replaced by concrete pavement with integral color and varying surface textures.
This project is scheduled to get underway in the spring of 2018 (April/May). It will be done in phases with the first phase in 2018 covering 7th Avenue West to 3rd Avenue West. Each year, construction work is expected to last from April/May to October.

Superior Street from 7th Avenue West to 4th Avenue East will be reconstructed over the next three construction seasons.

2018: 7th Avenue West to west side of 3rd Avenue West intersection
2019: 4th Avenue East to east side of Lake Avenue intersection
2020: Lake Avenue to 3rd Avenue West (includes both intersections)

Downtown always will be accessible during this project. However, a detour route for the specific phase of the project will be utilized as vehicular traffic will not be allowed in the construction zone. Motorists should also watch for digital messages as they travel into downtown from 135.
Yes! Sidewalk access will remain during the project, but there will be approximately 7-10 days when that will not be the case. This is when work crews will need to pour new sidewalks or when they need to make utility connections. Most businesses are also accessible by either the Skywalk System or alley.

On-street parking will not be available in the section of Superior Street that is under construction. Motorists are encouraged to utilize parking ramps during this project, though on-street parking still will be available along the avenues as well as other parts of Superior Street and neighboring streets. Seven parking ramps will be offering “First Hour Free” parking for motorists!

The following ramps are recommended during each phase:

Phase one:

  • Civic Center Ramp - 410 W. First Street
  • 4th Avenue Auto Park - 402 W. Michigan Street
  • Duluth Transportation Center - 228 W. Michigan Street
  • US Bank Ramp - 115 West Michigan Street

Phase two:

  • Medical District Ramp - 302 E. First Street
  • Tech Village Ram - 10 E. First Street
  • Hart District Ramp - 125 E. Superior Street

Phase three:

  • Tech Village Ramp - 10 E. First Street
  • Hart District Ramp - 125 E. Superior Street
  • US Bank Ramp - 115 West Michigan Street
  • Duluth Transportation Center - 228 W. Michigan Street
The contractor has started placing road closure signage in the perimeter of the project zone. The official start date is April 16 but the road will be closed of April 17. According to the bid specifications, the contractor needs to be complete with their work no later than October 30. They are confident they can be wrapped up with utilities with usable road and sidewalks by mid-October.
The work will encompass 7th Ave West just to the west of the 3rd Ave West intersection. The entire road and sidewalks will be excavated and improved.
Crews will typically work from 7 AM until 7 PM with Saturdays reserved for rain days or catch up work.
There will be noise once the road and sidewalks are excavated as well as heavy equipment being used on site. We will attempt to mitigate dust but that may be hard given the depth of the excavation and complexity of the utility placement. All efforts will be in place to reduce run off. As with many projects, there is an inspector on site who monitors environmental impacts. Metal fencing will be used as barricades around the construction site with heavier duty barricades installed around excavation sites.
The City has been reaching out to various partners about major events. Grandma’s Marathon will be routed down to Michigan Street at 4th Ave East then turn onto 5th Ave towards the harbor. The Greater Downtown Council plans to hold their annual Sidewalk days in July with a condensed area spanning from 3rd Ave West to Lake Ave.

The utilities underground date back to the 1880’s. The contractor needs to set up temporary water service first which will require some digging to access underground water lines. Water service may be disrupted for a few hours when the connections are being made, but property owners will be notified ahead of time.

Once temporary water is set up, we will be using heavy equipment to start removing surface material layer by layer to access each utility.

The utilities closest to the surface are the fiber networks for cable and phone.

Below fiber lies the water, steam and gas lines. Sanitary sewer lines are at the lowest dept of about 10-12 feet. Those were secured with a cured in place high density plastic liner last year to ensure its integrity.

Detours will be indicated by on street signage within the project zone. Leading into downtown, motorists will see a Superior Street closure notice on the Department of Transportation digital board.

The public can also plan ahead and check the City’s “Road Closure” map available online at www.superiorstreet.org/parking-skywalk/ Road closures and detours will be noted on the map. This website also has a map with the parking ramps and skywalk connections identified.

The City of Duluth has been working with the Greater Downtown Council and a Communications Taskforce group to develop marketing plan and wayfinding signage that will be placed at street level and skywalk level listing the accessible businesses or organizations on the street or sidewalk level.

There will also be standard construction boards directing traffic to detours, parking or road closure information. The Greater Downtown Council is enlisting its Clean and Safe Team as Construction Navigators to assist the public during the project.

Buses: The Duluth Transit Authority will reroute their Superior Street pick up and drop off zones to Michigan Street and First Street. Their detour schedules are available at www.duluthtransit.com

No properties will be without water or other utility services except for the need to connect the new pipes or lines to each property. We anticipate needing a few hours to make connections but all impacted property owners will be notified in advance.

 

 

 

 

City of Duluth
Duluth Energy Systems
Greater Downtown Council