Blatnik Bridge Undergoing Repairs Beginning Monday

By KBJR News 1

Blatnik Bridge Undergoing Repairs Beginning Monday

May 8, 2012 Updated May 8, 2012 at 12:27 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) -- The Blatnik Bridge's northbound I-535 lanes will close on Monday, May 14 and will remain closed until mid-summer.

The Highway 2 Bong Bridge may be used as an alternate northbound route.

The I-535 southbound lane will remain open; yet, motorists may experience short, single-lane closures.

Motorists are asked to use caution and abide to posted speeds when crews work in the closed lanes.

After the northbound lane reconstruction, the southbound lanes on the I-535 Blatnik Bridge will be closed to traffic until October 2012.

The northbound lanes will be open at this time.

The Blatnik Bridge rehabilitation project consists of a major, two-year project. The project includes work that will extend the life of the bridge.

The following work is planned:

- To repair and strengthen gusset plates on the bridge's main span in order to improve the load-carrying capacity of the bridge.

- To sandblast and paint the main span from 10 feet above the deck and below. This will be done in order to protect the steel from corrosion.

- To replace the concrete traffic rail on the main span with a thinner, lighter weight rail. This will reduce the overall weight on the bridge which will increase the load carrying capacity.

- To replace the bridge deck expansion joints.

- To remove decorative outline lighting. The current lighting system will be removed so that areas of the bridge can be painted.

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For more on the Blatnik Bridge Rehabilitation Project, click here!