Inspection Set For Blatnik Bridge

Minnesota Department Of Transportation To Inspect The Bridge In July


The Minnesota Department of Transportation will inspect the Blatnik Bridge over the course of three weeks in July. The inspection will look for defects in the bridge’s structural integrity.

The Blatnik Bridge was built almost 60 years ago. Around 34,000 vehicles cross the link between Duluth and Superior every day. Perry Collins, assistant district engineer of operations with MnDOT, said the bridge undergoes inspection each year.

“We really look at every element of the bridge, look for defects, assess the overall condition, and assign ratings that correspond with that condition,” he said. “Then that rating is summarized in a report.”

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Collins said the high bridge is really starting to show its age. The Blatnik Bridge may be replaced as soon as 2028, but at a significant cost. Collins said a new bridge would cost around $200 million.

“That doesn’t include approaches, traffic management, preliminary engineering, design costs and everything else that is associated with that type of project,” he said.

Collins said a report of their findings should be available in six months. He is advising drivers to exercise caution during the inspection. He said people using the bridge should expect delays and allow extra time to reach their destinations. The inspection will begin on Monday, July 10.