The Blatnik Bridge is scheduled to close for load testing operations during the overnight hours between July 22-July 23.  According to the Minnesota Department of Transportation,drivers will probably want to use an alternative route.

The inititial impact will be temporary, as MNDOT crrews begin positioning equipment on the right lanes of the bridge in both directions, starting at 10:00 PM on Sunday, July 22.  At 12 Midnight, the bridge will close to all motorists in both directions as the testing begins in earnest.  Throughout the remainder of the overnight hours, a series of tests will be performed.  After each test is completed, the bridge will open briefly - in order to allow traffic to flow - followed by a total closure again to accomplish the next test.

The tests are being performed as part of MNDOT's larger study on the lifespan of the Blatnik Bridge.  Engineers want to assess and get a better idea of the current condition of the structure in order to plan for the future.  Eventual replacement of the Blatnik Bridge is on the horizon and the agency is surveying a variety of factors to develop that timeline.