Lakewalk to Reopen this Summer on Grandma’s Marathon Weekend

DULUTH, Minn.– Construction on a section of Duluth’s Lakewalk in Canal Park has been ongoing over the last year to fix extensive damage caused by storms and erosions over time. Now, there is now an end date in sight for its completion this summer.

Fences and construction equipment have been one of the sights seen around Canal Park over the last year. But now, city officials say the busiest area of the Lakewalk will be ready on a pretty big day in Duluth.

“It’s a huge tourist attraction but it’s also a big asset to residents of the city,” said Mike LeBeau, Construction Project Supervisor for the city of Duluth.

The Canal Park section of the Lakewalk at is in the final months of its project, with a planned completion date of June 19. The day that Grandma’s Marathon will run again.

“We should be 99 and a half percent ready for grandma’s marathon,” said LeBeau. “Take the fences down, open it to the public.”

The rock bed has been raised up to the new concrete wall and boardwalk to provide an additional layer of protection against the wind and the waves that caused havoc on the area just a few years ago. Now all that’s left is for crews to lay down the new asphalt trail, along with adding 23 benches and trees all down the section of the path.

“They worked well into the winter building boardwalk and other things that they could do in that weather but the weather held and they completed the boardwalk all the way through the project,” said LeBeau. “Which was a bonus to get ahead on it.”

The trail and boardwalk have also been widened to increase pedestrian capacity on what the city says is the busiest section of the Lakewalk. Those with the project expect it to become more popular with the new look and are excited when Duluthians and visitors can walk the path again.

“Everyone’s ready to be done. And knowing that we have that hard deadline of being open by grandma’s marathon, it’s coming up quickly, so it feels really good,” said LeBeau.

Funding for the $16 million project in canal park has been funded by both state and federal disaster grants, along with money coming in from the city.

Once that section is complete, Phase 4 of the reconstruction project will begin sometime this summer on portions from Leif Erickson Park to Brighton Beach. City officials are hoping to spread out the sections of construction so there are what they say logical detours around the Lakewalk.

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