Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Hwy 53 Relocation

between Eveleth and Virginia

Hwy 53 Southeast of Virginia, MN

Traffic impacts

New alignment open

  • The new alignment for the roadway and bridge is now open. The old alignment is now closed.
  • Crews are putting the finishing touches on Hwy 53, working on final slopes and ditches, topsoil placement, turf establishment, sign installation and striping and traffic camera installation.
  • Crews will begin removing the existing Hwy 53, including the concrete pavement, the Second Avenue overpass bridge, underground utilities and signs. That work is expected to take a month.

Project dedication highlights

On Sept. 15, 2017 more than 400 people gathered under the new bridge over Rouchleau Pit to celebrate the project’s opening. Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, Cong. Rick Nolan and other elected officials gathered to thank the community, the contractor and MnDOT for their support and efforts. The project opened more than a month ahead of schedule.

About this project


NOTE: The project webcam is updated every 10 minutes. During winter months, the webcam may periodically shut down due to cold weather. We will get it back into operation as quickly as possible. Thank you for your patience.

See the Worksite Webcam

MnDOT built the original roadway in 1960 on land owned by iron mining interests. The easement the agency signed 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 and FAQs.

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

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

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.