Lincoln Park business owners confident despite newest Interchange Project updates

Can of Worms Project brings possible impacts to Lincoln Park
Can of Worms Project brings possible impacts to Lincoln Park(northern news now)
Published: Jan. 30, 2023 at 9:44 PM CST
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Ongoing construction isn’t just affecting drivers.

Local businesses and those living near the can-of-worms project have been seeing consistent detours since it’s beginning.

“You know we haven’t seen a change in business since the Interchange Project started,” said Co-Owner of OMC Smoke House, Louis Hanson.

Businesses in the Lincoln Park District are up front and center to the Can of Worms Project.

Much like Hanson, the storefronts are settling into the construction happening around them.

“We never had a parking problem as far as it goes, but people are very savvy in Duluth,” said Hanson. “We’re willing to take different routes and change on a whim as much happens with things changing and moving forward.”

But Monday night, MnDOT held a public update meeting at the Lincoln Park Senior Center to speak on changes happening within the next few months.

Their focus was heavily on 21st Ave. West.

“They’re shooting to open up earlier than February 13th, but at the same time as soon as 21st opens up we have to close 20th and remove those bridges overhead there as well,” said Pete Marthaler, MnDOT’s construction manager.

They are continuing structure work like driving piles, casting footings and piers, through the rest of winter.

“Especially with the two work packages that were added in August,” said Marthaler. “Those packages being stuff down by Garfield, as well as working up the hill on Highway 53 to Piedmont Ave. bridges.”

Despite the current and future detours that will come to Lincoln Park, both MnDOT and businesses in the area are working closely together.

“We are trying really hard to continue to communicate with them on a weekly basis,” said Marthaler. “In fact, they all have my phone number.”

Business owners, like Hanson, continue to look forward to having that steady traffic flow come back to their storefronts.

“I’m looking forward to the flow just getting back to normal and just having that general ease of being able to just get in and out of Lincoln Park just a little bit easier,” said Hanson.

Sometime in the spring, MnDOT plans to close north and southbound I-35 for a weekend to finish some bridge work.

No word yet on detours.