Construction set to begin on Interstate 35; digital signs to display travel timesDrivers heading to and from the Twin Cities should allow some extra time for their travels starting next week as lane closures begin on Interstate 35 in Carlton and Pine counties.
By: News Tribune staff, Duluth News Tribune
Drivers heading to and from the Twin Cities should allow some extra time for their travels starting next week as lane closures begin on Interstate 35 in Carlton and Pine counties.
Beginning Wednesday, the freeway will be reduced to a single lane in each
direction from mile marker 211 to mile marker 221, in the Moose Lake and Barnum areas.
Then, starting Friday, northbound I-35 will be reduced to a single lane
between mile markers 190 and 202, in the Sandstone and Willow River areas.
Both projects involve concrete resurfacing. The Moose Lake-Barnum work should be complete by about mid-August, and the Sandstone-Willow River in fall.
In addition, roadwork on I-35 between Duluth and Cloquet is scheduled to start later this month and also will lead to lane closures during the summer.
Travel time signs
While the I-35 construction is under way this year, seven digital signs will give drivers a heads up about travel times on the freeway.
The signs — including one in Duluth, on southbound I-35 near 40th Avenue West — display travel times between certain points on the highway. The Duluth sign gives estimates for travel times to Hinckley via the interstate and via an alternate route, Minnesota Highway 23.
How do they work? David Mavec, project engineer with the Minnesota Department of Transportation, said there are 10 sensors scattered throughout the construction zones — each one with a radar that scans both directions of traffic and senses traffic speed.
That information is sent to a company in Pennsylvania that runs the travel time tracking system, called TrafAlert, where it’s run through a computer algorithm. Once the estimated travel times are calculated, they’re sent back to be displayed on the signs.
Mavec said MnDOT staff will do firsthand checks throughout the summer to make sure the travel times on the signs are accurate.
If you want check travel times from home before hitting the road, go to www.trafalert.net/taduluthth35.
Find links to more information about the I-35 construction at duluthnewstribune.com.