WASHINGTON– U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, and Congressman Rick Nolan (all D-MN) announced today that the U.S. Department of Transportation will allocate a $20,000,000 Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development (BUILD) Grant to the Minnesota Department of Transportation to reconstruct the I-35/I-535/US 53 interchange, the US 53 approach to the I-35/I-535/US 53 interchange, and the I-535/Garfield Avenue interchange. 

“I spoke with Secretary Chao today and thanked her and the Department for working with us on this important project. This major investment will modernize Duluth’s downtown infrastructure, create good-paying jobs, and spur additional investments in the region’s economy,” Klobuchar said. “Projects like this supplement investments from local businesses to encourage additional economic expansion.”

“Investing in our infrastructure means investing in Minnesota’s long-term prosperity,” Smith said. “The reconstruction of this crucial interchange in Duluth will bring additional jobs and economic development opportunities not only to Duluth but across the entire region.” 

"What a Holiday gift!” Nolan said. “This federal grant is a monumental win for Duluth and our entire region, allowing our long-awaited and massive highway and bridge reconstruction project to go forward, driving business, commerce, and tourism and helping create and support hundreds of good paying jobs." 

The project will replace aging ramps and bridges in order to accommodate better freight movement into and out of the Port of Duluth. The new design will remove blind merges and left hand exits in order to improve the safety of the interchange.