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Harbor Technical Advisory Committee (HTAC)
The Harbor Technical Advisory Committee (HTAC) is one of three advisory committees to the MIC. Its mission is to:
Aerial photo of the Duluth-Superior harbor and Duluth hillside. Photo credit: USDA Forest Service, Superior National Forest, Gary Lidholm
  • Provide a forum for the discussion of issues and concerns pertaining to the Duluth-Superior harbor;
  • Promote the harbor’s economic and environmental importance to the community; and
  • Provide sound planning and management recommendations to the Metropolitan Interstate Council
The HTAC meets quarterly (see Meetings section, below) and brings together a large group of stakeholders to discuss and formulate recommendations addressing issues relevant to the Duluth-Superior harbor. Current topics include dredged material management, environmental restoration and enhancement activities, and land use development activities in the St. Louis River bay and estuary.

This article ran in the April-June 2014 issue of the Great Lakes/Seaway Review, featuring our HTAC (Harbor Technical Advisory Committee) and its role in fostering interagency collaboration and cooperation. Click the image if you would like to read it.

HTAC Members
The 31 voting members of the HTAC represent a wide range of harbor stakeholders including business owners, environmental groups and local, state and federal officials who are directly concerned with the planning, programming and implementation of issues pertaining to the harbors of Duluth and Superior. In addition, non-voting technical advisors from any member agency, organization or local government are encouraged to attend and participate in HTAC meetings.

HTAC Meetings
The HTAC meets quarterly, on the first Wednesday of March, June, September and December at locations that alternate between Duluth and Superior.

Current Year Meeting Schedule



September 3rd, 2014 Meeting Materials



June 4th, 2014 Meeting Materials

June 4th, 2014 Meeting Summary


March 5th, 2014 Meeting Materials

March 5th, 2014 Meeting Summary


December 11, 2013 Meeting Materials

December 11, 2013 Meeting Summary


September 4, 2013 Meeting Materials

September 4, 2013 Meeting Summary


June 5, 2013 Meeting Materials

June 5, 2013 Meeting Summary


March 6, 2013 Meeting Materials

March 6, 2013 Meeting Summary


December 5, 2012 Meeting Materials

December 5, 2012 Meeting Summary


September 5, 2012 Meeting Materials

September 5, 2012 Meeting Summary


June 6, 2012 Meeting Materials

June 6, 2012 Meeting Summary


March 7, 2012 Meeting Materials

March 7, 2012 Meeting Summary

Meeting Agendas and Minutes
HTAC meeting agendas and meeting summaries are posted on this site as they become available:

Browse Current Year

Browse Previous Years

HTAC as a Model for Other Port Communities
As HTAC members communicate with other port communities, word is getting around about the value of our collaborative committee process. These port communities are taking note and inquiring about how they could start a similar process. HTAC members have encouraged MIC staff to share the HTAC story with other port communities. Over the past year, MIC staff has been sharing our experience and committee model at conferences from Minneapolis to Chicago and as far away as Portland, Maine. The HTAC model has been presented at the following conferences:

    • Coastal Zone 2011 – Chicago, IL: July 18, 2011
    • Working Waterways & Waterfronts – Portland, ME: September 29, 2010
    • TRB Joint Summer Meeting Multimodal Freight/Waterways Track – Minneapolis, MN: July 12, 2010

The presentations have included information about the MIC as the host agency and the HTAC mission, membership and the issues we face in the Duluth-Superior port. View an example presentation. Most port communities face similar challenges such as managing dredged materials, cleaning up contaminated sediments and maintaining port infrastructure. Through creation of a harbor committee similar to HTAC, these communities could more effectively address these issues by bringing all stakeholders together.

Recently, we have been in communication with staff from Ohio Sea Grant about using the HTAC as a template for Toledo, Ohio to develop a harbor committee to help them work toward solving their complex issues related to their port. They had heard of our progress in addressing some of our difficult issues and contacted us to learn more about how the HTAC operates. They are looking to create a collaborative process that will bring stakeholders from all sides of an issue to the table. Currently, they are having difficulty with information exchange and making sure all parties are getting the same information. They would like to develop a process that is more efficient and gets government agencies, environmental groups and industry representatives communicating with each other.

Duluth and Superior Port Land Use Plans
The Duluth and Superior Port Land Use Plans examine current land use and development issues along the waterfront in the Duluth and Superior harbors...more

HTAC Subcommittees and Working Groups
The HTAC has several active subcommittees dedicated to addressing specific issues:
    Dredging Subcommittee/Erie Pier Management Plan
    The Dredging Subcommittee has recently completed a management plan for Erie Pier with the goal of extending the life of the facility...more

    Great Lakes Ports Advocacy Coalition
    The Great Lakes Ports Advocacy Coalition is working toward organizing advocacy efforts in Washington D.C. targeted at increasing funding for maintenance dredging and other water transportation infrastructure...more

Harbor Related Research
This section includes research reports that follow up on presentations at past HTAC meetings.

The Economic Impacts of the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Seaway System

This economic impact study was designed to provide the navigation community, transportation planners, government policy makers and the general public with a realistic assessment of the contributions made by the Great Lakes-Seaway system to the state, provincial, regional and national economies. This is the first-ever study that measures the economic impacts of the Great Lakes-Seaway system to both nations, at the same time, using the same methodology. The report was released on October 18, 2011. View the executive summary. View the full report.

The report authors are Martin Associates from Lancaster, PA. Martin Associates was retained to perform this analysis by a coalition of U.S. and Canadian Great Lakes- Seaway marine industry stakeholders. Study sponsors include: the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation, the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, the Chamber of Marine Commerce, the American Great Lakes Ports Association, the Lake Carriers' Association, the Great Lakes Maritime Task Force, Algoma Central Corporation, Canada Steamship Lines, and Fednav Limited. Technical and project management assistance was provided by Transport Canada. The American Great Lakes Ports Association served as the contracting agent.

Also read: Economic Impacts of the Port of Duluth-Superior


Tax Systems and Barriers to Great Lakes Maritime Commerce

"Tax Systems and Barriers to Great Lakes Maritime Commerce" by Randall Skalberg and James Skurla of the Labovitz School Business and Economics at the University of Minnesota Duluth. This research project inventoried the tax impact on the Great Lakes marine transportation system imposed by federal regulations focusing specifically on the Harbor Maintenance Tax. The findings suggest methods for increasing efficiency in the relationship between tax policy and commercial maritime operations. The study was funded by a grant from the Great Lakes Maritime Research Institute. View the report.

For More Information
Contact MIC Principal Planner Andy McDonald by phone at (218) 529-7514 or by e-mail.




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Update: Bong Bridge Roundabout (2015)










A new roundabout will be constructed as part of the 2014-2015 rehabilitation of the US2/Bong Bridge between Superior and Duluth:

Handout: How to Navigate the US2/Bong Bridge Roundabout

Video: "Take it Slow"

WisDOT website: Fast Facts about the 2014-2015 Bong Bridge Rehabilitation Project


Current Planning Initiatives
4th Street Construction Project

Duluth-Superior Port Land Use Plan

Northwest Douglas County Freight Movement Study

Duluth 6th Avenue East Traffic Study

Bicycle Planning


Recent Plans and Studies
Connnections 2040: The Duluth-Superior Long Range Transportaton Plan

Grand Ave/State Hwy 23 Corridor Study

Superior South End Traffic Study

Intersection Control Evaluation (ICE) Study for the Duluth Area

Duluth-Superior Cruise Ship Terminal Study

DLH Air Service/Air Cargo Leakage & Expansion Analysis

Duluth Sidewalk Study

Duluth-Superior Metropolitan Bike Map

Central Entrance Corridor Study

Lincoln Park Pedestrian Plan

Transportation Systems Management (TSM)

N Minnesota/NW Wisconsin Freight Plan

UMD-CSS Transportation Study

East 2nd Street Corridor Study (Superior)

DTA Route Analysis for the City of Superior

Downtown Modal Connections Study

Proctor Comprehensive Plan Update 2008

Endion Land Use and Transportation Study

Safe Routes To School Funding Applications

Northwest Superior Traffic Circulation Plan

Proctor Master Trail Plan

Munger Trail to Lakewalk Connector


Erie Pier Management Plan

Duluth Heights Traffic Circulation Plan

MnDOT Functional Classification Update

Public Involvement Plan

Rice Lake Road Corridor & Traffic Impact Study

Duluth and Superior Safe Routes to School Plans

Duluth Urban Area Growth Impact Study

Human Services Coordinated Transit Plan