Flooding and Potholes Welcome Spring to Duluth

Minnesota Avenue on Park Point is covered with more than a foot of water

“You’d have to have an army of pump trucks to empty this right now. Our biggest fear now would be if it gets cold now, freezes, and turns out to be a whole ice skating rink,” said Joel Johnson, owner of Lakehead Boat Basin and the Farifield Inn and Suites on Park Point.

South Minnesota Avenue on Park Point is now a little lake and it’s difficult to drive to some businesses on the bay.

“It’s not too bad yet,” said Johnson. “It’s only maybe fifteen inches deep at the deepest so they’re okay yet.”

Cars are having trouble getting into the Fairfield Inn.

“We might end up doing a valet service instead to get them taken care of so they can get from their car to the hotel,” said Johnson.

He says because of frozen drains water isn’t clearing the street near the Lakehead Boat Basin marina.

“We can almost float them where they are and save a launching time,” said Johnson.

Getting from the Aerial Lift Bridge to the marina is becoming just as big a challenge because of potholes.

“I can guarantee you that everybody will believe that their street is the worst and they’re actually right,” said Duluth Mayor Emily Larson.

City officials say this is an exceptionally bad year for broken and battered roads in Duluth.

“The more snow we have, the more plows we put on the road, more often that those plows are pushing their blades on that asphalt and popping up what were previously good patches,” said Jim Benning, Director of Public Works and Utilities.

Park Point, East Superior Street between 30th and 60th Avenues East, and some parts of Woodland Avenue are some spots city crews will focus on fixing in the coming weeks.

But they urge Duluthians to keep them informed of problem areas across the city.

“The more our residents can help us clean out those drains or those catch basins and keep an eye on the things that we can control as residents, it’s really helpful to get the expertise that we need and that we have out on the street doing the work,” said Larson.

Mayor Larson says she continues to work with state lawmakers to get Duluth’s sales tax increase in place. She says the money collected from the tax will be a sustainable solution to fixing streets.

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