Grandma's Marathon organizers are asking everyone to expect heavy traffic this weekend in Duluth, especially with construction reducing Interstate 35 to one lane between Garfield Avenue and 40th Avenue West.

"We expect the most significant delays to come on Friday afternoon, so if you are on the road at that time please be patient and use caution," race director Greg Haapala said in a news release.

The first round of road closures for the Grandma's Marathon weekend races will begin Friday morning and continue until around 3:30 p.m. Saturday. "No parking" signs will be placed around the race course, the finish line and the area around the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center.

Traffic advisories for Friday

  • Starting at 6 a.m., Canal Park Drive will close from Railroad Street to Buchanan Street until after the marathon Saturday. Hotel guests will still be able to access the area Friday.
  • Harbor Drive around the DECC will close at 5 p.m.
  • Railroad Street between Pier B and Lake Avenue will partially close to traffic at 5:30 p.m.
  • Motorists can access the DECC parking lot using the North Gate on Railroad Street or the East Gate on Harbor Drive.
  • All traffic leaving the DECC from 5-7:30 p.m. will be directed to West Gate on Fifth Avenue West.
  • The Great Lakes Aquarium parking lot will close to traffic from 5:45-7:30 p.m.
  • Traffic on Harbor Drive and Railroad Street should mostly return to normal around 7:30 p.m. Friday.
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Traffic advisories for Saturday

  • Scenic Highway 61 will close between McQuade and Ryan roads at 3:45 a.m. The remainder of Scenic Highway 61 will close at 4:15 a.m.
  • Homestead, Lakewood, McQuade and Ryan roads will close between Scenic Highway 61 and Highway 61 Expressway at 4:15 a.m.
  • The avenues leading to London Road will close at 4:30 a.m.
  • Southbound lanes on I-35 between 21st and 26th avenues east will close at 4:30 a.m.
  • Harbor Drive between the DECC East Gate and the aquarium will be restricted to official race shuttle buses starting at 4:30 a.m. The road will close to all traffic at 5:30 a.m.

Starting at 5:30 a.m. Saturday:

  • The following roads will close: all of London Road, Superior Street between 12th and 3rd avenues east, Michigan Street east of 5th Avenue West, Railroad Street, Lake Place Drive, Canal Park Drive.
  • Northbound traffic on I-35 will be diverted up Mesaba Avenue and follow detour signs.
  • Southbound traffic from Highway 61 Expressway will be diverted onto Superior Street and follow detour signs.
  • Westbound traffic on First Street will not be able to access Mesaba Avenue and will be diverted to Sixth Avenue West to access Superior Street and I-35.

Traffic is expected to return to normal around 3:30 p.m. Saturday.


Parking and access advisories

  • Motorists won't be able to access Park Point or Canal Park from Fifth Avenue West or Railroad Street during the marathon Saturday.
  • Those parking in the Canal Park area Friday or Saturday are encouraged to park at Bayfront Festival Park, the aquarium or the DECC using Fifth Avenue West or Railroad Street via Garfield Avenue. There will be no access from Lake Avenue.
  • Those wanting to watch the race along London Road on Saturday are encouraged to use Superior Street and Jefferson Street to access the avenues above London Road for parking.
  • Street and ramp parking will be available along First Street as well as along Superior Street between Sixth Avenue East and Lake Avenue.
  • No street parking will be allowed on Michigan Street. Those who park in ramps along the street prior to the road closure at 5:30 a.m. Saturday will not be able to exit during the race.

Bus routes

  • Buses will not be serving the Duluth Transportation Center during the marathon. Instead, passengers will board along Superior Street.

  • Eastbound routes 6 and 7 from downtown Duluth will take Superior Street to Third Avenue East, to Fourth Street, to 10th Avenue East, to Second Street, to 14th Avenue East to Superior Street, to 20th Avenue East, to First Street, to 21st Avenue East to Superior Street and back to regular routing.

  • Westbound routes 6 and 7 to downtown Duluth will take the regular route to 21st Avenue East, and then take First Street to 20th Avenue East, to Superior Street, to 14th Avenue East, to Third Street, to Third Avenue East, to Superior Street and back to regular routing.

  • The Port Town Trolley will not provide services Saturday until Michigan Street and Fifth Avenue West reopen.

  • Jefferson Lines will use the parking lot next to M & H gas station on the 1200 block of West Michigan Street for passenger drop-off and loading.