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“Can of Worms” project prolongs heavy cargo on city streets

DULUTH, MN -- A new focus on the Can of Worms project means more heavy cargo traveling through the city streets of Duluth for the foreseeable future.

In November, MnDOT announced the Can of Worms reconstruction project soared $100 million over budget; forcing planners to put off parts of the project.

Parts that were supposed to help take over-sized trucks off city streets and on to the highway.

Officials say the ramps are a critical component for the movement of over sized cargo, including wind turbine parts through the ports.

The recent changes announced by MnDOT means over sized cargo will have to continue traveling on city streets.

Right now the cargo which consists of wind turbine blades travel on Garfield Ave, up to Piedmont, and then onto Highway 53.

This past summer, road work was completed to help smooth out a portion of Piedmont in order for large trucks to make it up the hill.

Jayson Hron, Communications Director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority states, "Fortunately we have great partners with the city, and really the community as a whole, that's been patient and supportive of our process and we appreciate that. The movement of that cargo is a great thing for the ports and brings tremendous benefits and it will just continue on city streets as it has the last few years."

MnDOT says the higher costs are associated with what they say were unexpected and unfavorable conditions found in oil and water samples taken from the ground under I-35/I-535 interchange.

MnDOT officials say they are hopeful that during the $343 million project, they are able to receive additional funding to fully complete the remainder of the reconstruction project.

Kaitlyn Moffett

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