Portion of southbound I-35 in Duluth closing for repairsSouthbound Interstate 35 in Duluth will close tonight, and will remain closed for at least a week or more after bridge inspectors found a deteriorated piling on the roadway.
By: John Myers, Duluth News Tribune
Southbound Interstate 35 in Duluth will close tonight, and will remain closed for at least a week or more after bridge inspectors found a deteriorated piling on the roadway.
The damaged piling is on one of 38 supports, or piers, for the low bridge that runs from Mesaba Avenue west to near 21st Avenue West.
The piling that supports the pier “was so corroded we could see through it,’’ Duane Hill, chief district engineer for the Minnesota Department of Transportation, told the News Tribune.
Access to the southbound freeway will be closed from Lake Avenue to 21st Avenue West, Hill said. A detour will route traffic down London Road, up 14th Avenue East and then westbound on Third Street. From Mesaba, the detour will run to Superior Street and then up onto the 21st Avenue West ramp to the freeway, through the “Can of Worms’’ intersection and then back onto southbound I-35.
The southbound lanes will be open between 26th Avenue East/London Road and Lake Avenue during the repairs, but drivers on the freeway will have to exit at Lake Avenue. There will be no southbound freeway access at Lake, Fifth Avenue West or Mesaba Avenue.
MnDOT crews were expected to have the on-ramps closed by 6 p.m. tonight Hill said a contractor also will be hired to help with the job.
“We really don’t know how long it’s going to take until we get in there and start work,” Hill said.
While the corrosion was serious, there was no indication the long, low bridge was near failure, Hill said. Parts of that stretch of freeway received considerable work on the decking and roadway in recent years, but not the support piers, Hill said.