Seven Bridges Road reopens after flooding repairs completed
Duluth’s Seven Bridges Road has quietly reopened to traffic more than two years after floodwaters wreaked havoc on the scenic drive.
Repairs to the road are expected to total about $450,000, according to Daniel Fanning, director of public policy and communication for the city of Duluth. Traffic began to flow on Friday, but Fanning said the final touches, including the installation of decorative bridge capstones, probably won’t be completed for another week or two.
The roadway, which winds along the banks of Amity Creek, is renowned for its views.
“It’s the best place to walk in the area,” said Dorota Fredericks of Lakewood Township, while she pushed her 2-month-old daughter, Danika, in a stroller down the newly paved road Monday afternoon.
“It’s really nice to see it open once again,” she said.
As Gene Witt of Duluth walked his dogs, Emma and Gus, back to his vehicle parked at a trailhead parking lot off Seven Bridges Road, he gave the project high marks.
“I’m very pleased with the results,” he said. “It was money well spent so that people can enjoy easy access to Mother Nature.”
Witt praised the network of trails that lace through Lester Park, saying: “You could spend a day out here and never see the whole thing.”
He predicted the new road will be well-used by tourists visiting Hawk Ridge this fall.
Funding for the road project came primarily from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and from state flood relief the city received, Fanning said.
A section of the road between the first and second bridge was realigned eastward to prevent future erosion, and a portion of an adjacent ski trail also had to be rerouted.
The scenic boulevard dates back to 1899, when Samuel Snively, a prominent Duluth attorney and developer, launched work on the project. Snively went on to become Duluth’s longest-serving mayor, holding the office for 16 years.
Seven Bridges Road ties in with Skyline Parkway and serves as the eastern end of a scenic drive across Duluth’s hilltop. It terminates in Lester Park, where it joins Occidental Boulevard.