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Major construction to begin for Twin Ports Interchange Project this week

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DULUTH, MN-- A huge construction project impacting many Twin Ports commuters is about to be in full swing.

Starting this week, the $343 million Twin Ports Interchange project will kick-off.

It all starts Tuesday when Northbound I-35 will turn into a single lane.

Also on Tuesday, the ramps from Northbound I-35 to Northbound Highway 53 will be closed. Both closures are long-term.

During the closure, crews will work to change the interchange so it only has right-hand exits.

They also plan on removing the blind merges the Can of Worms interchange is notorious for.

It's all part of the overall goal of the Twin Ports Interchange Project which aims to improve safety.

On Thursday, more closures begin, as the Southbound Highway 53 to Southbound I-35 ramp will close for the long term.

Friday will bring a nighttime closure to Southbound I-35 near the tunnels.

"The purpose for this full closure is to install the queue warning system. It's a system that warns vehicles and travelers of stopped and slowed vehicles. The detour for this since it's shorter will be staying on London road," said Pete Marthaler, Construction Manager for MnDOT.

More construction will begin next week as well.

Southbound I-35 will move down to one lane on Monday, along with other ramp closures.

In total, seven ramps are marked for demolition in 2021.

MnDOT officials said there will be signed detours in place for all of the closures.

Another highly anticipated phase of this project is when Southbound traffic on I-35, will be moved to lower Michigan street.

That year-long change won't happen until this fall.

Most construction on the Twin Ports Interchange project is expected to wrap up near the end of 2023, with final touches the following year.

For more information on the project and closure dates, you can go here.

John Cardinale

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