It's a sure sign of the change of season.  Details about the Minnesota Department of Transportation's summer road projects are starting to be announced - and it looks like 2023 will be another busy year throughout the state and in our area specifically.

One project that will impact many this summer will happen along the North Shore on Highway 61.  MNDOT is sharing information about the Highway 61-Pigeon River Bridge project that's set to get underway on Monday, April 10.

Due to the nature of the work, the agency expects that there will be delays as "intermittent full-closures" of the roadway are expected - some lasting as long as 15 minutes. That could cause traffic backups as the summer tourist season rolls into full gear.

During other parts of the day, MNDOT expects that traffic across the bridge will be reduced to a single lane controlled by a temporary traffic signal that they will have installed at the work site. Drivers are urged to exercise caution when driving through the work site.

According to details shared by MNDOT, the scope of the bridge project will include replacement of the bridge bearings, deck, and lighting system.  In addition, work crews will replace the storm sewer, add new approach panels, and do some general abutment work.

General benefits of the project when finished include:

  • Improved lighting
  • A smoother road surface
  • Extended bridge life
  • Reduced maintenance upkeep and costs

Total cost for the work is expected to be around $3.5 million.  Full details are available on the Minnesota Department of Transportations website.  Agency officials expect that the work will be wrapped up and completed by some point in October of 2023.

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