UPDATE: Significant Closures on Blatnik Bridge to Impact Traffic Starting August 22
For anyone that uses the Blatnik Bridge to travel between Duluth and Superior, you should look for an alternative route starting August 22. A scheduled repair project to the bridge is set to begin on Monday, August 22 that will have a significant impact on traffic into October.
UPDATE 08/09/16 12:00 PM: This project was initially slated to begin on Monday, August 15, however MNDOT updated the plan today to begin the project a week later, on Monday, August 22. This delay was put in place in order to avoid impacting traffic during the Tall Ships Festival in Duluth.
The first part of the project, which is expected to last roughly 4 weeks, will close both southbound lanes and one northbound lane. These closures mean that the Bong Bridge or Oliver Bridge will need to be used in order to get from Duluth to Superior. While a single northbound lane will be open, allowing traffic to move from Superior to Duluth, delays should be expected, and an alternative route (like the Bong Bridge) should be considered.
After the completion of the first part of the project (approximately on September 28), both northbound lanes and one southbound lane in the Blatnik Birdge will be closed. This means that limited traffic with delays from Duluth to Superior wil be allowed, but traffic from Superior to Duluth will be closed on the bridge. Again, the recommended detour is the Bong Bridge. The entire project is anticipated to be completed by October 21.
During this project, repairs will be made to a series of gusset plates, a suspender cable, and other repairs that were found necessary to be made during an inspection last year. While these bridge repairs are going on, pavement repairs will also be done between the bridge and I-35 as well as to on and off ramps at Garfield Avenue.
Officials with MNDOT say that all four lanes on the Bong Bridge will remain open during this repair project on the Blatnik Bridge in order to ensure the best possible traffic solution between Duluth and Superior.
Motorists are reminded to drive extra carefully in construction zones, be patient with delays, and use alternative routes when possible.