Bridge begins to take shape on Hwy 53 relocation project
VIRGINIA, Minn. – Crews began installing the large steel girders that will support the roadway and pedestrian walkway on the bridge over Rouchleau Pit on the Highway 53 project. The first girders were placed on Sept 13 and will stretch from Pier 2, the western pier, to the west abutment.
Work also continues on the bridge’s concrete east abutment as well as on Pier 1, the eastern pier. And the bridge crew is constructing the pier and the abutments for the bridge that will carry Highway 135 over Highway 53 on the south end of the project.
Roadway crews have finished installing water, storm sewer and sanitary sewer systems between Highway 135 and the Rouchleau Pit bridge. They have also continued to build the base and embankments for much of the new Highway 53 alignment.
The project continues to receive the steel bridge girders necessary for the bridge. The rest of the girders will be delivered and assembled during the next few months. Girder installation will continue into the winter.
Crews continue the reconstruction of southbound Highway 53 from Vermillion Drive to the eastbound ramp to Highway 135. There is one lane of traffic in each direction while crews rebuild the southbound roadway. The work will take about another month.
Next year, crews will rebuild the northbound side of Highway 53 in that area. Project officials urge motorists to use the zipper merge to minimize backups near the work zone. In the next several weeks, crews will begin to pave portions of Highway 53 from Midway Road to Highway 53.
The project website was recently updated with photos and video of the installation of the first girder. Visit the project website at mndot.gov/hwy53relocation. Viewers will also find access to the project’s web cam, as well as other information regarding the project.
For questions or concerns about the project, call the project hotline at 218-820-8532.
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