The Minnesota Department of Transportation is alerting drivers to a series of routine bridge inspections scheduled for next week along the I-35 corridor in Duluth.

The information might have caused you to say "I thought they were already doing that?" because there are already lane closures and work being done on the Blatnik Bridge, and MNDOT has work crews at a variety of other project sites along I-35.  While the confusion is understandable, this is an entirely different inspection project.

These routine bridge inspections scheduled for June 13 and June 14 will focus on a variety of elevated bridge areas that don't involve the two main bridge spans in Duluth (i.e. the Blatnik and the Bong Bridge).  MNDOT crews will use "snooper trucks" to allow personnel to get underneath and up-close to the bridge spans in question.

Here is a breakdown of where the inspection crews will be on each of the two individual days:

  • June 13:  Inspections will start at northbound Michigan Street over Highway 194 southbound (MNDOT Bridge number 69839).  Traffic impacts will include lane closures with flagging or signal systems.  Inspections will then move to the northbound Highway 194 Bridge over Superior Street (MNDOT Bridge number 69840).  Impacts there will include a right lane closure, with additional closures under the bridge on Superior Street.
  • June 14:  Inspections will take place on southbound I-35 at the bottom of Thompson Hill (MNDOT Bridge number 69879A).  The right truck lane will be closed.

The inspection work is scheduled to begin at 9:00 AM on both of the days.  It's worth noting that these inspections - like most outdoor road construction work - is entirely tied to the weather conditions and unforeseen factors that might come up.  However, MNDOT expects the inspections to be wrapped up on the two scheduled days.

Interstate 35 (I-35) Northbound on ramp in Duluth, MN
Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth

For more details about this particular road construction project or any of the work coordinated by the Minnesota Department of Transportation, check out their website.  The offer individual project pages for each of the work zones throughout the state, along with real-time traffic data.

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