With road construction season in full swing, the Minnesota Department of Transportation announced Wednesday that it's ready to begin constructing median crossovers on I-35 near the Atkinson Bridge in Carlton County.

This is part of the $4.15 billion Atkinson Bridge Rehabilitation project on I-35 southbound over Carlton County Road 61 that MnDOT says will create improved bridge conditions, geometrics, and load-carrying capacity to a minimum standard. It is also expected to extend the useful life of the highway.

The I-35 media crossover project is scheduled to begin  Monday, July 17. For Northland motorists, it means that I-35 will be reduced to one lane in each direction with temporary closures of the passing lane.

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While this will likely create traffic issues for inconvenienced motorists, there is some good news with this project in that these closures will be removed for weekend traffic peaks. MnDOT says this part of the Atkinson Bridge Rehabilitation project is expected to be completed in early August.

The median crossovers will be used in 2024 and 2025 when work on the project will continue. The future project will consist of bridge re-deck and repair and pavement mill and overlay. For those unfamiliar, the Atkinson Bridge crosses Carlton County Road 61.

As is always the case, motorists driving through road construction sites such as this should allow extra time to reach their destination and be patient. Also, drive cautiously and be on the lookout for Minnesota Department of Transportation road crews who will be out throughout the area.

Minnesota real-time traffic and travel information is always readily available online by visiting 511mn.org.

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