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Superior Street Reconstruction

Frequently Asked Questions

Overview

The City of Duluth is reconstructing Superior Street in downtown Duluth. This revitalization project includes replacing and repairing public utilities, improved pedestrian connections, better wayfinding, new streetscape and lighting, as well as increased amenity space.


Phase 1 (7th Avenue West to 3rd Avenue West) is complete. Phase 2 (Lake Avenue to 4th Avenue East) is complete. Phase 3 (Lake Avenue to 3rd Avenue West) will happen during the summer of 2020.

 

 

No. The existing bricks continue to deteriorate and will be replaced by concrete pavement with integral color and varying surface textures.

The first phase (7th Avenue West to 3rd Avenue West) was completed in 2018. The second phase (Lake Avenue to 4th Avenue East) was completed in 2019. The third phase (Lake Avenue to 3rd Avenue West) will take place April through October 2020.

The project is slated to begin April 6, 2020, weather permitting, with a project completion scheduled for late October. This is the third year of the Superior Street reconstruction project. Phase three encompasses Lake Avenue to 3rd Avenue West. This phase also includes improvements to Lake Superior Plaza and the Fountain Plaza. Simultaneously, MNDOT will be resurfacing the Lake Avenue Bridge and making accessibility improvements.

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

2018: COMPLETED
2019: COMPLETED
2020: Lake Avenue to 3rd Avenue West (includes both intersections)

Downtown will always 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. Remember, the construction zone is only three blocks!

Yes! Sidewalk access will remain during the project and will always be maintained on at least one block face; although there will be interruptions in the sidewalk that will occur to complete the work. Access to Superior Street entries will always be maintained, but there will be periods where entries will not be accessible for short, coordinated periods, which in general, should be limited to 3 to 5 days at most.

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!

Phase three: APRIL - OCTOBER 2020

CLOSEST TO THE CONSTRUCTION ZONE:

  • Tech Village Ramp - 10 E. First Street
  • Duluth Transportation Center - 228 W. Michigan Street

ADDITIONAL RAMPS: 

  • HART District Ramp - 125 E. Superior Street 
  • Medical District Ramp - 302 E. First Street
  • Civic Center Ramp - 410 W. First Street 
  • 4th Avenue Auto Park - 402 W. Michigan Street

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 working with various partners about major events. Once again, Grandma’s Marathon will be routed down to Michigan Street at 4th Ave East then turn onto 5th Ave W towards the harbor. The Greater Downtown Council plans to hold their annual Sidewalk Days Festival July 10, 11, & 12 on Superior Street from Lake Avenue to 5th Avenue West.

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 First Street and Second 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