Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Hwy 53 Relocation

Between Eveleth and Virginia

Hwy 53 Southeast of Virginia, MN
Highway 53 detour, southeast of Virginia, MN.

Traffic impacts

The Highway 53 relocation project will close access into Virginia via Second Avenue on Friday, April 21 at 9 a.m. from Highway 53. The closure will stay in place until 6 a.m. Monday, April 24.

The closure is necessary so crews can perform utility work under Second Avenue.

Road closures

  • The Highway 135 detour route will change on Saturday, April 22, providing motorists with a more direct route to and from Virginia.
  • The new detour route will be along Mineview Road and Highway 135. Traffic on westbound Highway 135 will not be able to access southbound Highway 53. See map above.

Bridge work

  • Workers continue to assemble the deck for the bridge over Rouchleau pit. The concrete for the deck is scheduled to be poured in May and June.
  • Workers continue to install water and sewer lines on the underside of the pit bridge and build the formwork for the concrete deck on the Highway 135 bridge.

Project news

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.