Latest updates on Blatnik Bridge and I-35 North closures
Both lanes of Blatnick from Superior to close Monday Both lanes of the Blatnik Bridge (Interstate 535/U.S. 53) carrying traffic from Superior, Wis., to Duluth, will close for approximately three weeks beginning Monday, June 23, according to the M...
Both lanes of Blatnick from Superior to close Monday
Both lanes of the Blatnik Bridge (Interstate 535/U.S. 53) carrying traffic from Superior, Wis., to Duluth, will close for approximately three weeks beginning Monday, June 23, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
Only one Superior-bound traffic lane will remain open until all work is completed on the bridge.
Mn/DOT advises motorists to plan their route from Superior to Duluth via the Bong Bridge (Highway 2). Detour signing will be posted in Superior, Wis.
During the traffic closure, contractor crews will be strengthening gusset plates on the Duluth-bound side of the bridge. In addition, crews will continue to complete necessary electrical, guardrail and painting work behind the traffic control barrels of the single Superior-bound lane.
Because rain or high winds may create unsafe working conditions for workers and weather-related delays are a possibility, crews will work six days a week, 10 hours daily in good weather to minimize the closure duration.
Update on June 18 incident on I-35 northbound and effect on Blatnik Bridge detour traffic:
Mn/DOT anticipates opening northbound I-35 to two lanes through the "Can-of-Worms" interchange by noon Friday, June 20.
Removing this lane restriction will help improve inbound traffic to Duluth, especially for commuters coming from Superior to Duluth via the Bong Bridge while work is being done on the Blatnik Bridge.
On June 18, the department restricted northbound I-35 traffic to one lane after a piece of construction equipment, ejected from a passing 18-wheeler during a traffic accident, damaged a bridge near the intersection of I-535 and Highway 53 in Duluth. The accident was unrelated to the construction activities on the Blatnik Bridge.
Following Wednesday's incident, Mn/DOT shifted traffic away from the damaged area of the bridge. After reviewing the damage and completing calculations to assess the structural integrity of the bridge, Mn/DOT engineers have determined that the bridge can safely carry two lanes of traffic if the two lanes are shifted to the right.
Repairs to this portion of northbound I-35 are anticipated to begin within several weeks after obtaining necessary structural components. During the repair, northbound I-35 traffic will be reduced to a single lane in the vicinity of the damaged bridge until the repair work is complete.
For additional information on the Blatnik Bridge project, visit the project Web site at http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d1/projects/blatnik_bridge/index.html .
-- Press release from the Minnesota Department of Transportation