New lane closure on I-35 in Duluth to divert drivers to Wisconsin
New lane closure on I-35 in Duluth to divert drivers to Wisconsin

Motorists in the Northland know that driving near the ongoing Twin Ports Interchange project in Duluth often requires a lot of patience.

The $435 million project requires year-round work by crews to rebuild the I-35/I-535/Highway 53 interchange. Although the Minnesota Department of Transportation tries to avoid major work during rush hours, it is sometimes unavoidable.

To their credit, MnDOT provides regular updates each week about what to expect for drivers in the area, including this week when more lane closures will occur, including a major detour to Superior, Wisconsin.

The positive thing is that the diversion only exists at night.

Nighttime closures of I-35 northbound throughout the week at the Twin Ports interchange

According to MnDOT, northbound I-35 through the Twin Ports Interchange will be completely closed nightly from Monday, June 24 through Friday, June 28.

The overnight closure will be from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. to allow workers to finish painting the overpass bridges that currently run over active traffic.

A detour will be in place with signs directing motorists to follow the Bong Bridge on Highway 2 to Superior and the I-535/Blatnik Bridge back to Duluth.

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Southbound I-35 will be reduced to one lane at the Twin Ports Interchange

Those traveling southbound on I-35 near the Twin Ports Interchange should expect traffic delays on Monday, June 24, as traffic will be reduced to one lane until approximately 3:30 p.m.

The Twin Ports Interchange Project aims to improve security through the following measures:

  • Providing a new conventional design
  • Relocation of all entrances and exits to the right side of the road
  • Improved visibility when merging and eliminated merge conflicts
  • Elimination of weaver problems near the motorway junction
  • Ensuring lane continuity for traffic on I-35

Construction is expected to be completed around summer 2026, with landscaping and cleanup work then beginning.

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The video below shows what the freeway will look like when completed from the perspective of a motorist traveling north on I-35 through the Twin Ports Interchange area and then traveling south from I-535 or the Blatnik Bridge through the Twin Ports Interchange area onto I-35.

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Gallery Credit: Sarah Jones

By Liam