An $8.2 million project is underway to repair the aging breakwall on the Duluth side of the Superior Entry.

First built off the end of Minnesota Point between 1906 and 1908, the inner breakwall has been damaged by boat collisions over the years and the concrete is "deteriorating ... cracking and falling off" above the waterline, said Corey Weston, the chief of construction and survey at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Duluth office.

"It's starting to show signs of failure and obviously the Superior Entry is a very important piece of the harbor to ensure that the ships can get in there," Weston said. "So it was determined that it was going to be repaired."

Workers from Roen Salvage tend to the Minnesota side of the Superior Entry on Friday, May 15. (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)
Workers from Roen Salvage tend to the Minnesota side of the Superior Entry on Friday, May 15. (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)

Starting this spring, Sturgeon Bay-based Roen Salvage is working to encapsulate the original concrete structure with sheet pile and backfill it. The completion date is July 2021, Weston said.

The contract, awarded last year, will repair about 1,000 feet of the 1,200-foot-long wall, leaving the outermost section for a future project.

"There's approximately 200 feet that will remain and someday get repaired as well," Weston said.

Designs and funding for the final 200 feet are being considered, Weston said.