Parks & Recreation

Harbor Plaza/Baywalk/Seawall


Project Status: Planning

Project Overview:

The seawall along the DECC waterfront has suffered deterioration and storm damage and is in need of significant rehabilitation. Adjacent to the seawall is city-owned property comprised of a segment of the Baywalk trail system and Harbor Drive, which are impacted by the seawall deterioration and potential reconstruction. This waterfront area is expected to be the terminal for the growing cruise ship industry, and a redesign of the public spaces between the seawall and the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center is necessary.

The City of Duluth, with the help of qualified consultant team, will create a plan for improvements to the seawall and adjacent public areas starting at Minnesota slip (Blue pedestrian bridge) to Pier B. This project will include significant stakeholder and public engagement. In addition to the seawall and cruise ship infrastructure, the plan will create a waterfront redesign, including alternatives to Harbor Drive functionality, access to the DECC and pubic spaces, programmable areas to be utilized by the public, stakeholders and the DECC, Baywalk design and amenities, and other identified stakeholder and community needs.
This page will provide links to plan concepts and drafts, as they are produced and released to the public.
Check back to this page for upcoming meetings or opportunities for input.

Project Update:

The consultant team has been selected:

  • Landscape Architecture: Confluence
  • Civil Engineering: SEH
  • Coastal Engineering: AMI

The City of Duluth Parks and Recreation Division is excited to share design concepts with the public for the proposed Harbor Plaza and cruise ship docking area along the waterfront, directly behind the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center (DECC). The designs will be shared with the public at two information sessions next week.

The City of Duluth has embarked on a design process to replace the damaged seawall and aging infrastructure along the waterfront behind the DECC. This process creates and defines a new harbor plaza area by reimagining the use and function of the waterfront and Harbor Drive between the Minnesota Slip Bridge and Bayfront Festival Park. Design concepts include accommodations for the Great Lakes cruise ship industry, more intentional resting spaces, improved walking and gathering areas.

The public is encouraged to attend one of two information sessions next week.

- Tuesday, August 17, between 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m., in-person on Harbor Drive near the Vista Fleet dock. This meeting
will be an open house format in which those interested in attending can arrive at any time between the 3:00 – 6:00 p.m.
timeframe to review interactive conceptual plans for the space. A white canopy tent will be on-site. The plans and city staff will
be inside the tent.
- Thursday, August 19, virtually via WebEx, at 6:00 pm at the link below. This will include a virtual presentation with an
opportunity for individuals to share their feedback on the concept plans. The meeting will be hosted by the City of Duluth Parks
and Recreation division, along with the consultant team led by the firm, Confluence, Inc. The August 19th virtual meeting
schedule is planned as follows:

• Introductions
• Purpose of the project
• Presentation of preliminary concept plans
• Q &A and public input

To join the August 19th virtual meeting, please visit and select “Parks &Recreation Public


Funding Source:

  • 2020 State Bond Funding
  • Federal EDA Grant for Cruise Ship Terminal


Planning to be completed by November, 2021. Construction is anticipated to begin Winter/Spring 2022 and be completed by Summer of 2023.

Important Documents:

Virtual Concept Plan for Harbor Plaza August 19, 2021