DTA Continues Shuttle Service with Skywalk Delay

Sept. 15, 2015

The Duluth Transit Authority (DTA) on Sept. 11 announced a delay in the scheduled opening of the Northwest Passage Skywalk between downtown Duluth and the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center (DECC). The delay is expected last approximately two (2) weeks and is the result of weather; coupled with an area shortage of the skilled labor that is required for the reconstruction of the Northwest Passage Skywalk.

Mortenson Construction, the prime contractor for the Northwest Passage Skywalk and the new Duluth Transportation Center (DTC), has notified the DTA that the Skywalk’s planned opening date of Sept. 22, cannot be achieved as scheduled. A new date for the opening of the Northwest Passage Skywalk has now been set for Oct. 8. The scheduled opening for the main DTC is still set for early January. 

The Northwest Passage Skywalk portion of the project is a critical link between downtown Duluth hotels and businesses to the DECC, Bayfront and the Canal Park area that hosts conventions, sporting events and features commuter parking. The reconstruction of the elevated skywalk over Interstate 35 and frontage roads is a complex, 24-hour, 7-day a week operation with the need for recurring detours and lane diversions. Regulations restrict construction activity over an active highway lane. These restrictions require extensive coordination and scheduling of skilled labor from different trades that are working on the project at the same time. Subcontractors have experienced difficulties in attracting the staffing needed to complete the project by the Sept. 22 target date for the Northwest Passage Skywalk.

The DTA will continue to operate the daily shuttle service between the DECC parking lot and the downtown area until the new opening date of Oct. 8.