I-35 Rightsizing: Large Economic Impact Possible

With private investment on the reclaimed land and impact from the construction project alone, Duluth could see a large infusion of economic activity.

Talk in the community about a possible redesign of I-35 through downtown Duluth prompted the Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) and the U of M Extension’s Center for Community Vitality to conduct a study on the potential economic impact if the redesign were to happen.

Highway redesigns such as this have been occurring across the U.S. for many years. Knowledge gained from the highway removal has resulted in the correct term for the redesign as “rightsizing.”

In our study, we used case studies from similar rightsizing projects, interviews and survey results from stakeholders and subject matter experts, information on rightsizing projects across the U.S., and insight gathered from over 360 people who stopped at our table during the downtown Duluth’s Sidewalk Days and determined the results. 

A visual summary is available as well as the full report, which can be viewed on the U of M's Digital Conservancy website along with all of the BBER's reports. Funding for this project was provided in part by the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation. 




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