Portion of Lakewalk Reconstruction Almost Complete

Phase 3, from Endion Station to the Canal, to be reconstructed next year

DULUTH, Minn. – A stretch of the Duluth Lakewalk is closed as crews draw closer to completing the first two phases of the reconstruction project.

The new, updated Lakewalk, from Endion Station, to Leif Erickson Park, is expected to open by early December. City officials tell us the asphalt path in that stretch will be paved as early as this Thursday.

“I came down here after the storm and saw the big rocks up here and it was pretty impressive, the size of the rocks and how far they came up on the shore,” said Debbie Freedman who walks her dog along the Lakewalk daily.

Now, months later, a half-mile stretch of the rebuilt Duluth Lakewalk is almost complete.

“I’m calling this Lakewalk 2.0, a major reset using modern engineering technology,” said Mike LeBeau, Construction Project Supervisor for the City of Duluth.

Large stones were strategically designed and placed to break up incoming waves, and a new concrete wall serves as a second line of defense.

“High lake levels and more severe, more frequent storms means that we need something this robust,” said LeBeau.

The boardwalk will be two feet wider, and the asphalt path will be five feet wider than before.

Project leaders say the reconstructed section will be much better protected from Lake Superior should another storm strike.

“The three storms that did most of this damage happened every six months for a year and a half,” said LeBeau. “The next cycle is this month.”

But the reconstruction along Canal Park hasn’t begun, leaving that section at a great risk from more massive waves.

“We’ve already pulled the boardwalk, the asphalt trail, and the benches and everything else out of there because it was gone essentially and we had to clean it up, so there isn’t a lot left to damage right there except for the hotels,” said LeBeau.

Phase 3 of the Lakewalk Reconstruction Project, from Endion Station to the Canal, is expected to be completed next year.

Fixing up that section could cost $10 million to $12 million.

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