U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar, Tina Smith Announce Funding for Revitalizing I-35 Corridor in West Duluth and Downtown Duluth

[Washington, DC] – Today, U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith announced federal funding to develop a comprehensive plan for economic development and community support for Duluth neighborhoods harmed by the construction of I-35 in the 1960s and 70s. The construction of the interstate and the barrier that created in downtown Duluth led to the demolition of hundreds of homes and displacement of over 1,700 people. The funding was awarded thanks to President Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure law, which both Senators supported.

“Duluth’s I-35 highway needs critical right-of-way improvements to ensure drivers and pedestrians stay safe,” said Klobuchar. “This federal grant will help Duluth begin the planning phase of connectivity improvements along the interstate.”

“Investing in our roads and bridges is critical, but it shouldn’t happen at the expense of vibrant communities,” said Smith. “The neighborhoods in West Duluth and Downtown Duluth were severely disrupted when I-35 was constructed, and I am happy to see federal funding going to address these disruptions.” 

The $1.8 million in funding comes from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Reconnecting Communities Pilot program, the first-ever federal program dedicated to reconnecting communities that were previously cut off from economic opportunities by transportation infrastructure.