Parking and Traffic Tips For Shopping During Grandma's Marathon
(DULUTH, MINN.) --- Motorists can expect a number of road closures and heavier-than-normal traffic as thousands of runners and visitors descend on Duluth and the surrounding area for the 45th annual Grandma’s Marathon this weekend.
The most significant delays will likely be related to the ongoing Twin Ports Interchange project, which reduces Interstate-35 into and out of Duluth to just one lane in each direction between Garfield Avenue and 40th Avenue West. Organizers are asking everyone, whether you’re involved with the race or not, to expect and plan for congestion and traffic in that area as the weekend gets closer.
Road closures will begin the morning on Friday, June 18 and continue until the evening on Saturday, June 19. Motorists are also asked to be aware of the temporary “No Parking” signs on race weekend, especially on the racecourse itself, at the finish line, and in the area around the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC). Violators will be ticketed and towed.
Most roads should reopen to traffic (except for construction areas on Interstate 35, 2nd Street, and 3rd Street, as discussed below) at approximately 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 19.
Any questions about road closures and detours during Grandma’s Marathon can be directed to Officer Dave Decker of the Duluth Police Traffic Division at (218) 730-5736 or Minnesota Department of Transportation Public Engagement and Communications Director Pippi Mayfield at (218) 722-2834.
TRAFFIC ADVISORIES – FRIDAY, JUNE 18
- Canal Park Drive will close to most traffic at 6:00 a.m. from Railroad Street to Buchanan Street and will remain closed until after the race on Saturday, June 19. Hotel guests will be able to access their place of lodging throughout the day Friday.
- Prior to the William A. Irvin 5K on Friday, June 18, Harbor Drive around the DECC will close to traffic at 5:00 p.m.
- Railroad Street will partially close to traffic at 5:30 p.m. between Pier B and Lake Avenue.
- Motorists will be able to access the DECC parking lot using the North Gate (on Railroad Street) or the East Gate (on Harbor Drive) throughout the entire event. All outbound traffic from the DECC will be directed to the West Gate (on 5th Avenue West) from 5:00 p.m. until approximately 7:30 p.m.
- The Great Lakes Aquarium parking lot will close to traffic at 5:45 p.m. and reopen at approximately 7:30 p.m.
- Traffic on Harbor Drive and Railroad Street should return to normal by approximately 7:30 p.m.
TRAFFIC ADVISORIES – SATURDAY, JUNE 19
- Scenic Highway 61 will close at 3:45 a.m. between McQuade Road and Ryan Road. The remainder of Scenic Highway 61 will close at 4:15 a.m.
- The following roads will close to traffic at 4:15 a.m. – Homestead, Lakewood, McQuade, and Ryan roads between Scenic Highway 61 and the Highway 61 Expressway
- Avenues leading to London Road in Duluth will close to traffic at 4:30 a.m.
- The southbound lanes of Interstate-35 between 21st Avenue East and 26th Avenue East will close to traffic at 4:30 a.m.
- Harbor Drive between the DECC East Gate and the Great Lakes Aquarium will be restricted to official race shuttle buses starting at 4:30 a.m. Harbor Drive will close to all traffic at 5:30 a.m.
- The following roads will close to traffic at 5:30 a.m.
o All of London Road
o Superior Street between 12th Avenue East and 3rd Avenue East
o Michigan Street east of 5th Avenue West
o Commerce Street / Railroad Street, Lake Place Drive, and Canal Park Drive
- Starting at 5:30 a.m., northbound traffic on Interstate-35 will be diverted up Mesaba Avenue and should use the following detour instructions:
o From Mesaba Avenue, turn right onto 2nd Street
o Continue on 2nd Street and turn left onto 3rd Avenue East
o Continue up the hill on 3rd Avenue East and turn right onto 4th Street
o Continue on 4th Street and turn right onto 10th Avenue East
o Continue down the hill on 10th Avenue East and turn left onto 2nd Street
o Continue on 2nd Street and turn right onto 21st Avenue East
o Continue down the hill on 21st Avenue East and turn left on Superior Street
o Continue on Superior Street to the Highway 61 Expressway
- Starting at 5:30 a.m., southbound traffic from the Highway 61 Expressway will be diverted onto Superior Street
o From the Highway 61 Expressway, turn right onto Superior Street
o Continue on Superior Street and turn right onto 21st Avenue East
o Continue up the hill on 21st Avenue East and turn left onto 3rd Street
o Continue on 3rd Street and turn left onto Mesaba Avenue
o Continue down the hill on Mesaba Avenue and merge onto Interstate-35
- Westbound traffic on 1st Street will not be able to access Mesaba Avenue starting at 5:30 a.m. and will instead be diverted to Superior Street and Interstate 35 using 6th Avenue West
OTHER TRAFFIC ADVISORIES
- Motorists should be aware of ongoing construction on 2nd Street and 3rd Street in Duluth. Those roads will both be open on marathon weekend, but travel from one end of the city to the other is not possible. Please use the detours listed above.
- On Wednesday, June 16 and Thursday, June 17, motorists in Canal Park can expect short delays as crews install a temporary pedestrian bridge over Canal Park Drive just south of Buchanan Street. The roads will remain open during this time, and traffic will be managed as needed by Grandma’s Marathon and construction crews.
PARKING & ACCESS
- Motorists wanting to access Park Point or Canal Park during the marathon on Saturday, June 19 must use Lake Avenue from Superior Street. There will be no vehicle access to Park Point or Canal Park via 5th Avenue West or Railroad Street.
- Anyone planning to park in the Canal Park area on Friday, June 18 or Saturday June 19 are encouraged to park at Bayfront Festival Park, the Great Lakes Aquarium, or the DECC using either 5th Avenue West or Railroad Street via Garfield Avenue. There will be no vehicle access to the DECC, Bayfront Festival Park, or the Great Lakes Aquarium via Lake Avenue.
- Local residents and those wanting to watch the race along London Road on Saturday, June 19 are encouraged to use Superior Street and Jefferson Street to access the avenues above London Road for parking during the event.
- On-street and ramp parking will be available along Superior Street from 6th Avenue East to Lake Avenue and along 1st Street.
- No on-street parking will be allowed on Michigan Street. Motorists who part in the Michigan Street ramps prior to the road closure at 5:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 19 will not be able to exit the ramp until the marathon ends at approximately 3:30 p.m.
- The Depot, Public Library, and Gateway Towers will be accessible during the marathon on Saturday, June 19 using Superior Street and 6th Avenue West.
- Eastbound Routes 6 & 7 – From Downtown Duluth
o Will take Superior Street, to 3rd Avenue East, to 4th Street, to 10th Avenue East, to 2nd Street, to 14th Avenue East, to Superior Street, to 20th Avenue East, to 1st Street, to 21st Avenue East, to Superior Street, and back to regular routing
- Westbound Routes 6 & 7 – To Downtown Duluth
o Will take regular route to 21st Avenue East, to 1st Street, to 20th Avenue East, to Superior Street, to 14th Avenue East, to 3rd Street, to 3rd Avenue East, to Superior Street, and back to regular routing
- The Duluth Transportation Center (DTC) will be open, but no buses will be serving it during the marathon. Passengers are directed to board along Superior Street during this time.
- The Port Town Trolley will not provide service on Saturday until Michigan Street and 5th Avenue West are reopened to traffic.
- Jefferson Lines will use the parking lot adjacent to the M&H gas station in the 1200 block of West Michigan Street for passenger loading and dropoff.