Blatnik Bridge Back Open for Traffic

By KBJR News 1

October 19, 2012 Updated Oct 19, 2012 at 5:19 PM CDT

DULUTH, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - As of Friday morning, one of the biggest projects testing driver's patience is now complete.

After undergoing a summer of repairs, the Blatnik Bridge connecting Duluth and Superior is now open to traffic in both directions.

Over the summer, drivers have been detoured to the Bong Bridge and businesses near the Blatnik Bridge entrances felt the impact of fewer cars passing by.

MnDOT says the work done over the summer will extend the life of the bridge.

"Many different structural steel repairs. We also replaced the bridge construction joints. The outside median rail, the outside concrete rail was replaced with a thinner type design which took a lot of the load, some load, some weight of the bridge," said Brian Larson of MnDOT.

While the bridge will remain open to traffic, Larson says there will be some lane restrictions next week for inspections for lighting on the bridge.

Next year, crews will be painting and installing the new lights on the structure.

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