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Project Background:

When the plans for Interstate 35's extension up the shoreline of Lake Superior were revealed, many people were startled. The plan called for the interstate to be built over the lake on a large concrete breakwater. Recognizing how this would disconnect the city from its greatest asset, and cognizant of how the interstate severed and even destroyed neighborhoods on the west side of the city, a group of citizens rose up to oppose this plan. One of the founding members of this group was ARI's landscape architect Kent Worley. The group, through letter writing, research, and countless hours, successfully convinced the city and MnDOT to undertake an alternative plan in which the interstate would run under downtown through a series of tunnels, sparing many of the city's important landmarks, and of course, the waterfront.



This project had a huge impact on the city of Duluth. Prior to this time - Canal Park was one of the worst parts of town, downtown Duluth had little relationship with Lake Superior, and the lakefront was a dumping ground for various industries. The effects of this plan led to the creation of Lake Place, The Lakewalk, and more. The ripples of this development led to Canal Park doing a complete 180 in a short period and becoming the most visited place in town. In addition, the waterfront became a premier destination for locals and tourists alike.



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