Blatnik Bridge Inspection to Start Tuesday

Updated: July 08, 2019 10:26 PM

If you take the Blatnik Bridge, prepare for daytime lane closures. The annual inspection is starting on Tuesday.

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On Monday, crews were out putting the barrels on the sides. And signage on both sides of the bridge is warning drivers of what's to come.

According to WisDOT, the right lanes on both sides of the bridge will be closed down. They are staggered slightly though, based on traffic counts. 

Southbound to Superior will be impacted from 8am-3pm, and northbound to Duluth will be from 7am-4pm, Monday-Friday.

"We do this every 12 months," explained Jessica Felix, the Northwest Region Deputy Director for WisDOT. "But this year the two states determined Wisconsin would take the lead on the fracture critical inspection. Well have four snooper trucks out there on Tuesday."

Drivers like James Ylinen, whose is from Duluth, understand a little delay is worth it. "I think it's good as long as it's keeping us safe. Having been over the I-35 bridge in the cities, and then seeing it collapse on the news, I think, hey, let's keep inspecting. If it's down to one lane, that's going to suck. But those are first world problems, right?"

The bridge is tentatively scheduled to be replaced in 2028. "Until then, we have maintenance projects planned. We need a good picture of the condition of the bridge, and what needs to be done, to keep the public safe when driving," added Felix.

Also, in Duluth on Monday, another block of Superior Street has been closed down for the reconstruction project. It's between 3rd and 4th Avenues East.

And workers are now tearing up pavement at the intersection of Railroad Street and Garfield Avenue, so you cannot turn onto Railroad for several weeks.

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