MnDOT Announces Major Delays Due to Costs of Upcoming “Can of Worms” Project

MnDOT delays two major parts of the Twin Ports Interchange project indefinitely.

DULUTH, Minn.- MnDOT says they’re struggling to get funding for unforeseen costs adding up in the upcoming Twin Ports Interchange, or “Can of Worms,” reconstruction project, and it’s causing parts of the project to downsize.

Officials say they’re projecting construction to cost more than $100 million over the original budget, putting new estimated costs at $443 million.

Some of the new costs come from unexpected utility work on Lower Michigan Street and having to relocate Coffee and Miller creeks.

To offset the additional costs, MnDOT has decided to delay two parts of the project indefinitely– that is work on I–535 and Garfield Avenue going toward the Blatnik Bridge and work on the exit 255A– 53 bridges up to Piedmont avenue.

“We’re kind of almost caught, in these large complicated projects, in a catch–22 where we have to budget and throw that number out there to start working on the project, but then we go and do the detailed engineering, we learn a lot more,” project manager Patrick Houston said.

MnDOT says they will continue searching for ways to fund the budget gap in the coming years.

Officials say the I–535 ramp and 53 bridges are essential for transferring freight through the Twin Ports- That means they will be reconstructed eventually, even if that comes after the original projected end date in 2023.

 

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