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Oliver Bridge prepares for major overhaul

Duluth - Motorists using the 84-year old Oliver Bridge (Minnesota Highway 39 & Wisconsin Highway 105) should expect minor travel delays, flag people controlling & monitoring traffic flow and construction activities for approximately one w...

Duluth - Motorists using the 84-year old Oliver Bridge (Minnesota Highway 39 & Wisconsin Highway 105) should expect minor travel delays, flag people controlling & monitoring traffic flow and construction activities for approximately one week on the Minnesota side of the bridge starting on or about Monday, December 4, 2000.
According to the Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range Railroad Company (DMIR), which is the owner of the bridge, and the Minnesota & Wisconsin Departments of Transportation (Mn/DOT & Wi/DOT), workers from a sub-contractor to Johnson Brothers Corporation of Litchfield, Minnesota will be constructing a special access road facility in preparation for the major renovation of the bridge which is scheduled to begin in mid-to-late January of 2001.
During this access road construction project , the bridge reconstruction partners ask motorists to use extra caution because workers and construction equipment will often be working adjacent to Highway 39 (also known as McCuen Street). The DMIR, Mn/DOT and Wi/DOT remind drivers that traveling through a construction zone presents special challenges where even the slightest motorist error can have tragic results.
Oliver Bridge users should also be aware that the bridge will be totally closed to all motor vehicle traffic for about one year beginning sometime in mid-to-late January, 2001 as crews from Johnson Brothers retrofit this 1,900-foot-long bridge under a nearly $7 million contract.
This major bridge renovation is made possible by a public/private partnership wherein each state will contribute 30% of the improvement investment and the DMIR Railroad will cover 40%. When re-opened to traffic in early 2002, the troublesome wooden deck of the bridge will be replaced by a smoother and stronger steel reinforced concrete deck. In addition, the roadway element of the Oliver Bridge will be capable of serving year-round 10-ton commercial vehicle axle weights. Currently, the deteriorated condition of the roadway's wooden deck severely limits commercial loads to just five tons. The superstructure of this double deck bridge, which carries railroad traffic on the top level and motor vehicle traffic on the lower deck, will be also be renovated.
The Oliver Bridge was constructed across the St. Louis River in 1916.

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