Duluth’s Lakewalk Trail Closes For Maintenance and Restoration Repairs

The Lakewalk trail between 16th Avenue East and 21st Avenue East will remain closed until the work is complete.

DULUTH, Minn. – Duluth city crews got their hoses out and water flowing  to open up storm sewers along Lake Superior clogged of rocks and boulders from recent severe weather.

The city of Duluth has closed the eastern part of the Lakewalk trail for storm water drain maintenance and repairs.

Crews started work on Tuesday and the Lakewalk trail between 16th Avenue East and 21st Avenue East will remain closed until the work is complete.

City workers say the intense wind and wave action from recent storms over the last few months have caused rocks and boulders to get pushed into the storm sewers.

One portion of Duluth’s Lakewalk trail is a bit quiet these days.

You don’t see people walking, running or biking on the eastern segment of the trail.

That’s because the city of Duluth is doing storm water drain maintenance and restoration work.

“It’s more of a maintenance issue where the high water levels and intense storm we’ve had recently are causing that rock to get pushed into the storm sewers,” said City of Duluth Utility Operations Supervisor Chris Kleist. “So it’s not really a deterioration issue as much as maintenance {issue}.”

Crews are flushing the rocks back from the storm sewer with high pressure water jets to remove them and let the storm sewer flow back in the lake freely.

“If storms sewers aren’t functioning we have potential flooding on streets and private property, so we want to make sure the storm sewers are open and clear and flowing,” said Kleist.

The storm sewers are about four feet wide and the rocks crashing into them are being pushed more than 100 feet deep against the storm water drains. the repair work is environmentally–friendly because it’s essentially water cleaning water.

You’re advised to avoid the area where crews will be working on the lakewalk as a safety precaution.

“There are some surprisingly large boulders that you couldn’t lift by hand that are getting flushed up 100 plus feet into the storm sewer,” said Kleist. “So getting each one of those back one at a time is a huge commitment for us.”

The eastern part of the Lakewalk was eroded both in October 2017 and April 2018 by winter storms.

It was then temporarily patched to continue to allow public use.

“A couple thousand of psi (pounds per square inch) is what it takes to flush those larger boulders out of those pipes, so it’s a lot of water pressure over the course of several days,” said Kleist.

Future restoration plans are also in the works. Tthe full lakewalk is scheduled to reopen Thursday, June 28.

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