As the Minnesota Department of Transportation continues its plans for the relocation of Highway 53 between Eveleth and Virginia details are starting to be made public.  Some of those project details are rather interesting.

  • The project calls for two separate bridges that will cross the Rouchleau Pit:  a 200-foot long bridge for Highway 135 and a bridge that is 1,100-feet long to handle Highway 53.
  • Utility lines will run underneath the span of the bridges carrying water and sewer lines - however, there will not be a work platform under the bridge to service these pipes.  (All utility lines will need to be serviced at some point and most bridges allow for that by including a work platform;  It appears that this project will not include that work platform - even though the bridge will span the water-filled mine pit at a height that would make service work near-impossible or at the very least - expensive).
  • The bridge will not include de-icing systems - something that has become common practice in recent years.  Detractors suggest that with the bridges height and the windy conditions this could prove to be problematic.

Read more about the recent developments by clicking here.