Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Hwy 53 Relocation

Between Eveleth and Virginia

Hwy 53 Southeast of Virginia, MN
Highway 53 alternative route E-2, southeast of Virginia, MN.

Project update — April 26, 2016

Crews poured the first above-ground concrete for the west pier last week on the Highway 53 relocation project. Workers also began installing reinforcing bar (rebar) for the next vertical section of the west pier.

Work also has continued on the Hwy 53 and Hwy 135 interchange. This effort includes construction of a rock embankment for several ramps on the interchange. Crews also began excavation work this week for city sanitary sewer lines near Second Avenue.

The project webcam currently is not working. It should be repaired this week. However, a new time-lapse video, as well as new photos, are available. See the news release

Project update — April 5, 2016

NOTE: We have been experiencing problems with the worksite's web camera for the last two weeks. A replacement has arrived and will be installed in late April. Thank you for your patience.


Typically, the webcam is updated every 6 hours.

See the Worksite Webcam

Crews this week are building concrete forms, installing reinforcing steel bars and pouring concrete for the plinth, which is part of the west pier of the future Hwy 53 bridge. Also, excavation work continues from the east abutment to Landfill Road, as well as embankments north of the future Hwy 135 intersection. See the news release.

Coffee and Conversation highlights

Coffee and Conversation was held Thursday, April 7 at 10 a.m. at the MnDOT headquarters, 101 N. Hoover Rd., Virginia, Minn. View highlights from this and earlier meetings.

Project update — March 11, 2016

Crews began pouring concrete March 11 to form the footing for the west pier of the bridge on the Highway 53 relocation project, while the piling work nears completion on the east side of the bridge.

Crews are continuing excavation work from the east abutment to Landfill Road as well as embankments north of the future Highway 135 intersection. Later this month, excavation work will start for the west abutment of the bridge. View a new time-lapse video of the project.

Project update — March 3, 2016

The next Coffee and Conversation will be held Thursday, April 7 at 10 a.m. at the MnDOT headquarters, 101 N. Hoover Rd., Virginia, Minn. View highlights from earlier meetings

See previous updates

About this project


MnDOT built the original roadway in 1960 on land owned by iron mining interests. The easement the agency signed in order to build the road included a requirement that MnDOT would move the road with three years notice if the mining company needed to get to the ore underneath. In 2010, the mining interests notified MnDOT that the road would need to be moved. Later that year, MnDOT and the mine company agreed to a 2017 date for the road to be moved.

Part of the project development process included mineral rights acquisition, The state has purchased the mineral rights under the new alignment to ensure that MnDOT will not have to move the road again. More background.

Summary of work

  • Vacating a portion of Hwy 53
  • New alignment from Bourgin Road to 2nd Avenue in Virginia (3.2 miles)
  • New interchange at Hwy 135
  • New bridge over Rouchleau Pit
  • Relocation of Landfill Road
  • Realignment of  Mesabi Trail
  • Reconstruction of  2nd Avenue interchange
  • City of Virginia utility relocation


General contractor

Kiewit Infrastructure Company, an international construction, mining and engineering company, is the general contractor for the project.