Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Mission Creek Bridge replacement and Hwy 23 realignment

St. Louis County

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a roundabout that includes exits to Chambers Grove Park and the Fond du Lac Campground be constructed at Highway 23 and Highway 210 to slow the speed of traffic entering Fond du Lac from the south?

MnDOT’s District 1 Traffic Engineer has reviewed the current intersection and determined that the best way to slow traffic in the area is to use cross-sectional elements rather than a roundabout. Analysis of crashes indicates there have been no crashes at the intersection between 2011 to September 30, 2021. During that time there were 5 single vehicle crashes in the vicinity, however these crashes would likely not have been resolved by the existence of a roundabout. The District Safety Plan has this intersection listed as an urban intersection. It ranks 2 stars for a right-angle focus and 3 stars from a bike/ped focus.  No projects are recommended.

Can curves be added to Highway 23 to slow the speed of traffic through Fond du Lac?

MnDOT cannot introduce adverse geometry to reduce speed. The location of Hwy 23 is limited to using the former N.B lanes adjacent to the cemetery area. Constructing a curvy alignment would require building on top of areas that do not have an existing roadway structure underneath and therefore will result in a grade raise. Additionally, building a bridge that crosses Mission Creek at an angle or that has a curve to it will increase bridge construction costs.

Signs that show your speed are used in other area. Can these signs be placed at each end of the Fond du Lac neighborhood to slow traffic on Highway 23?

MnDOT will allow the City of Duluth to install "Your Speed Is" signs on our highways by permit.  The cost of installation and maintenance falls to the City, but MnDOT can include it in the project to help get the best price.

To move traffic further away from the existing homes on the south side of Highway 23, can MnDOT construct one lane of traffic in each direction using the old road grades?

This option would require the construction of two bridges or one wide bridge with unused surface area. From a cost/benefit perspective, the cost of the extra bridge width or 2nd bridge does not provide benefits to justify the cost.

Can a right turn lane be constructed at W. 5th Street to make turning from the 50mph zone safer for residents?

This request is currently under review.

Can a parking lot be added to the old road grade west of 131st Avenue W. for those visiting the park and utilizing the nearby trails?

MnDOT cannot use highway funding to construct parking on trunk highways where parking does not currently exist.  (MnDOT Cost Participation policy).

Can parking be added to highway 23 to allow access to residents?

Reducing speeds in the corridor is one of the goals of the project and the way to accomplish this goal is by clearly changing the context of the roadway as it enters the neighborhood.  The narrow cross section lets motorists know that they are in a neighborhood and not on a 55 MPH rural highway anymore. Plus, in an effort to try to minimize the amount of ground disturbance during construction, the new roadway must be built on top of the existing 30' wide road structure of the former NB lanes. Finally, MnDOT's Cost Participation policy does not allow us to spend highway money on parking where parking does not already exist.

Can MnDOT insulate the bottom of the bridge deck to keep it from frosting up, instead of having a rough (noisy) deck surface?

The bridge deck will still frost up because it is still open to air on the top and bottom.  

Is there a quieter bridge deck treatment that will help reduce noise?

First consideration is to use a diagonal tine pattern. If that is not satisfactory, MnDOT will use deck planing. 

What will the new bridge look like? Will it be aesthetically attractive?

Level B Aesthetics have been determined.  MnDOT would like the theme to remain similar to the rest of the corridor.