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Reconstruction underway on southbound Highway 33

Two-way traffic is flowing smoothly down the new concrete lanes of northbound Highway 33 this week and reconstruction of the southbound lanes is underway.

Jim Sorenson, Highway 33 project supervisor for the Minnesota Department of Transportation, said no major traffic changes will occur this week.

He warned locals to expect high traffic volume over the Labor Day weekend, however, and encouraged people to use alternate routes around town. Traffic delays have been a problem at the Doddridge Avenue and Big Lake Road intersection particularly on Fridays and Sundays, when out-of-town travelers come through town.

“MnDOT has been making adjustments to the signal systems to allow as much traffic as possible through the construction zone,” Sorenson said. “Even with the adjustments, delays can be expected during the busy Labor Day weekend.”

He noted that signs will be installed to inform southbound traffic on Highway 33 that Cloquet Avenue can be used as an alternate route to get to southbound Interstate 35 in an attempt to move traffic through Cloquet faster on Sundays. Cloquet Avenue will be closed for the parade for an hour or so on Monday, however, with the city handling the detour, Sorenson said.

Major work this week includes the following:

  •  Pavement removal in the southbound lanes;
  •  Utility work; and
  •  Concrete paving near intersections.

With the traffic now using the northbound lanes, the southbound Highway 33 access to the south frontage road (where County Seat Theater’s Encore Performing Arts Center is located) is closed. Drivers coming from the frontage road can still access southbound I-35 from the frontage road.

Drivers should also remember that access to Armory Road, McDonald’s and Brenny Dahl is via the new Super One entrance (on Big Lake Road) and using the frontage road around the parking lot.

Right turns are now permitted from the northbound lane into the DNR entrance (and other business off Gillette Road) as well as Washington Avenue. However, the L&M entrance will be opened later as some utility work remains at that location.

Other continued traffic disruptions include the southbound Interstate 35 to northbound Highway 33 ramp closure and the the southbound Highway 33 to northbound I-35 ramp closure.