Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Blatnik Bridge repair project

Duluth

Orange barrels on a highway

Inspections

The Blatnik Bridge undergoes a detailed inspection every year to monitor the bridge's condition and identify necessary repairs. If anything is discovered that poses imminent danger to the public, the bridge would be closed immediately for repair.

The gusset plate crack is not considered a critical problem. It was discovered in the 2014 inspection and temporarily repaired in 2015. Minor repairs, such as this gusset plate crack, that are identified during annual inspections are logged into an inspection report. When enough non-critical repairs build up to justify a project, MnDOT will schedule the work. The agency also weighs the effect on the driving public that occurs when it needs to restrict traffic on the Blatnik Bridge to conduct repairs.

MnDOT will continue to annually inspect and monitor the bridge. It has also hired an engineering firm to study the bridge to determine the number of years the bridge is expected to remain in service before repairs and maintenance costs become unreasonably high. The report is expected to be completed in fall 2016. This report will allow MnDOT to provide a long-term management plan for the bridge. The plan will help estimate repair costs as well as determine the structure’s remaining service life.