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Traffic congestion expected during Tall Ships Duluth festival

Duluth police are advising that people planning to attend the Tall Ships Duluth festival later this week prepare for significant traffic congestion in Canal Park and the Bayfront area. The festival grounds will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thur...

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The U.S. Brig Niagara prepares to enter the ship canal on its way to the harbor on July 25, 2013 as part of the tall ships festival. (file photo / News Tribune)
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Duluth police are advising that people planning to attend the Tall Ships Duluth festival later this week prepare for significant traffic congestion in Canal Park and the Bayfront area.

The festival grounds will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, with the Parade of Sail - when all the tall ships will enter the harbor under the Aerial Lift Bridge - tentatively scheduled to start at about 1 p.m. and last about 90 minutes.

City officials said tentative plans are for three groups of three ships each to pass beneath the bridge, with the bridge lowering between each group to allow vehicle traffic to cross.

The parade will cause traffic delays for people headed to and from Park Point, and congestion in Canal Park. Police suggested that people who want to view the parade should use parking at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center, Bayfront Festival Park or downtown and walk to Canal Park.

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The festival will continue from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Drivers should prepare for traffic congestion and delays and watch for pedestrians and police officers directing traffic.

Coolers, cans, bottles, pets and backpacks will not be allowed on festival grounds. Festival organizers said purses, and diaper and camera bags are allowed but will be subject to inspection at the entrance gates.

Free shuttle buses

Free shuttle buses will run between downtown Duluth and the festival grounds on Friday and Saturday to help ease traffic congestion.

The shuttle's stops on Superior Street will be at the Holiday Center, the Tech Village and the Sheraton hotel. It will drop off and pick up passengers at the festival entrance along Fifth Avenue West at the connector to Railroad Street, near the Great Lakes Aquarium.

The shuttle buses will run about every 15 minutes from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

The service is sponsored by the Greater Downtown Council, Canal Park Business Association, the Sheraton Duluth Hotel, the Holiday Inn & Suites and Interstate Parking.

Bridge schedule changes

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The Aerial Lift Bridge and Minnesota Slip Bridge will operate on amended schedules during the Tall Ships Duluth festival from Thursday through Sunday.

After Thursday's Parade of Sail under the Aerial Lift Bridge, with longer-than-normal lift times, the Lift Bridge schedule will return to its normal summer schedule - lifting on the hour and half-hour.

Extra bridge personnel will be on hand to safely move vehicles and pedestrians across the bridge.

The Minnesota Slip Bridge - the pedestrian bridge linking Canal Park and the DECC - will raise to allow boats to pass only twice an hour during the festival, at 15 and 45 minutes after the hour. The only exception will be for commercial charter fishing boats returning from fishing trips.

 

Online

Find more 2016 Tall Ships Duluth festival information at duluthnewstribune.com and tallshipsduluth.com .

Related Topics: CANAL PARK
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