- I-535/Hwy 53 between Duluth and Superior
- May to Oct. 2012 and April 15 to late-Oct. 2013
- Rehabilitation cost: $12,945,018
- New lighting cost: $750,000
The new lighting system is completed and is operational.
New lighting system
The Blatnik Bridge is now illuminated in a wash of light, which is accomplished by casting light off the interior of the structure. MnDOT and WisDOT shared the cost to construct the new energy-efficient lighting system.
New lighting system is operational
Final design work on the new lighting system was completed in January 2013. Construction took place in summer 2013 and the system was lit for the first time October 25, 2013.
The lighting design concepts were developed by the Blatnik Bridge scoping team which included WisDOT engineers and representatives from Allete/Minnesota Power. The team considered esthetics, initial cost, operating cost and maintenance, durability and safety in preparing these designs. Comments collected during a public open house on August 29, 2012 and for several days following the open house were overwhelmingly in support of the new Illuminated design.
Outline lights were removed for rehabilitation project
All of the outline lighting fixtures on the Blatnik Bridge were attached to the outside faces of the structural steel and had to be removed to access the areas behind them during the 2012-2013 rehabilitation project.
Roadway and navigational lights
All roadway and navigational lighting on the bridge remained operational during the two-year project. Roadway and navigational lighting systems are essential for the safe operation of traffic on the bridge and for ships using the channel below the bridge.
In 2012 MnDOT formed a team of local and state officials who were interested in the new, energy-efficient LED, lighting system on the bridge. If you would like to learn more about this team please contact Dan Erickson, MnDOT engineer. Thank you to all who participated on this team!