Planning Moves Forward For 2022 Seawall Reconstruction, Walkway Redesign Behind DECC 

Duluth Council gave the go-ahead to begin looking at designs for reconstructing the aging seawall and the surrounding greenspace from the Slip to Bayfront.

DULUTH, Minn.- Duluth City Council passed two resolutions for pre-design and pre-engineering work for Phase II  of seawall construction and rehabilitating the pedestrian walkway along Harbor Drive between Canal Park and Bayfront.

Councilors say they expect construction to begin on the seawall in 2022.

They plan to use some of the $13 million in state bonding bill money the city received last year for lakewalk and seawall improvements.

According to Council Vice President Arik Forsman, the city has about $3 of federal funds for every local dollar that will go into this project.

Council has given the go-ahead to begin looking at designs for reconstructing the aging seawall and the surrounding greenspace running from the southwest corner of the Minnesota Slip Bridge throughout the back of The DECC to the pedestrian bridge at Pier-B.

Designs for the greenspace are aimed at creating a welcoming area for pedestrians hoping for a lakeside walk between Canal Park and Bayfront Park.

“If we can use that space better to not only promote our tourism but also just connect all of these really critical pieces of the city together better I’m really excited to see what comes from it,” Councilor Forsman said.

According to Forsman, the area has become forgotten as just the “backdoor” area of the DECC. “At least for me it’s if I miss an exit, or I want to go the back way to the movie theater or something.”

“How cool would it be if that was more of a destination rather than just a thruway?” he said.

What comes next for the seawall, according to Forsman, is having consulting companies submit designs for how to fix the seawall and redesign the surrounding greenspace.

Then there will be public process, before a design is finalized and the city can start asking for bids for construction.

Meanwhile, city officials say the final work is wrapping up on Phase 3 of Lakewalk Reconstruction behind the Canal Park hotels.

The rock bed has been raised up to the new concrete wall and boardwalk. All that’s left is to the lay the asphalt trail install 23 benches and trees, according to officials.

That work, they said, has to be done by Grandma’s Marathon in June.

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