Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Hwy 53 Relocation

Between Eveleth and Virginia

Hwy 53 Southeast of Virginia, MN

Photo Gallery

Work continues in cold November

Some different views of the project as it winds down for winter. Crews are finishing roadwork for the winter and placing erosion controls in place. There will be three more lifts, which should complete that work. Photos taken Nov. 25.

Work continues in cold November - 1 of 3
View 1
Work continues in cold November - 2 of 3
View 2
Work continues in cold November - 2 of 3
View 3

Rouchleau Pit span complete

On Nov. 11, bridge crews placed the first set of girders that completes the east to west span of the bridge over Rouchleau Pit. Crews will continue to place girders through January and will construct the bridge deck next spring.

October aerial photos

Credit: Photos by Insight Environmental.

The east abutment of the bridge looking south. Crews had to cut through significant rock to build the roadway for Highway 53.

The east abutment of the bridge looking south. Crews had to cut through significant rock to build the roadway for Highway 53.

The new alignment between Highway 135 and the new Landfill Road connection.

The new alignment between Highway 135 and the new Landfill Road connection.

An aerial view of the bridge, looking south.

An aerial view of the bridge looking south.

The Hwy 53 new roadway on  the west side of Rouchleau Pit. At the top of the photo, which is looking  north, sits the tie in to the existing Highway 53. The Second Avenue loop is in  the background.

The Hwy 53 new roadway on the west side of Rouchleau Pit. At the top of the photo, which is looking north, sits the tie in to the existing Highway 53. The Second Avenue loop is in the background.

Late September 2016

The Highway 53 relocation project has received a larger, heavy-lift crawler crane, the Terex CC 6800. It will be used to lift the steel bridge girders in place for the bridge that crosses the Rouchleau Pit. A similar crane was used to help construct the new U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
The Highway 53 relocation project has received a larger, heavy-lift crawler crane, the Terex CC 6800. It will be used to lift the steel bridge girders in place for the bridge that crosses the Rouchleau Pit. A similar crane was used to help construct the new U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

Late August 2016

From atop Pier 1, looking west, you can see Pier 2 in the center, the Terex CC 6800 crawler crane in the background on the right, and behind and in front of the crane, some of the steel girders the crane will be lifting into place. Behind the pier, the green structures are temporary shoring towers that will be used when the girders are installed.

From atop Pier 1, looking west, you can see Pier 2 in the center, the Terex CC 6800 crawler crane in the background on the right — and behind and in front of the crane, some of the steel girders the crane will be lifting into place.

 

Behind the pier, the green structures are temporary shoring towers that will be used when the girders are installed.

Some of the 10 million pounds of steel girders that will be used to construct the Highway 53 bridge over the Rouchleau Pit.

Some of the 10 million pounds of steel girders that will be used to construct the Highway 53 bridge over the Rouchleau Pit.

A closer view of the shoring towers necessary to help support the steel girders during installation. These towers were also used during the construction of the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. The crane being used on the Highway 53 project is also similar to one used during stadium construction.

A closer view of the shoring towers necessary to help support the steel girders during installation. These towers were also used during the construction of the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

 

The crane being used on the Highway 53 project is also similar to one used during stadium construction.

Early August 2016

July 2016

The first steel girder for the Highway 53 relocation project is delivered to the base of the bridge over Rouchleau Pit on July 19.

The first steel girder for the Highway 53 relocation project is delivered to the base of the bridge over Rouchleau Pit on July 19.

A worker with Veritas Steel in Eau Claire, Wisc., which fabricated the Highway 53 girders, stands near one of the larger pieces. There are more such girders in the background of this photo.

A worker with Veritas Steel in Eau Claire, Wisc., which fabricated the Highway 53 girders, stands near one of the larger pieces. There are more such girders in the background of this photo.

Working with the large beams requires large equipment. This crane is holding a beam steady while unseen crews work on the piece of steel.

Working with the large beams requires large equipment. This crane is holding a beam steady while unseen crews work on the piece of steel.

Crews at the steel company partially assemble bridge  components to make sure everything fits together as planned. The road surface  will be on the top of this structure.

Crews at the steel company partially assemble bridge components to make sure everything fits together as planned. The road surface will be on the top of this structure.

June 2016

The west pier for the bridge on the Highway 53 relocation project reaches to the sky.

The west pier for the bridge on the Hwy 53 relocation project reaches to the sky.

Congressman Dick Nolan, left, speaks with project director Pat Huston, center and District 1 Engineer Duane Hill.

Congressman Rick Nolan, left, speaks with project director Pat Huston, center and District 1 Engineer Duane Hill.

Looking west across the project site.

Looking west across the project site.

Crews pour concrete to create the east abutment at the top of the Rouchleau Pit wall.

Crews pour concrete to create the east abutment at the top of the Rouchleau Pit wall.

Crews continue to build the concrete west pier.

Crews continue to build the concrete west pier.

Crews build the concrete forms for the bridge abutment that sits atop the west wall of Rouchleau Pit.

Crews build the concrete forms for the bridge abutment that sits atop the west wall of Rouchleau Pit.

Workers tie the rebar that will form the inside reinforcement for the east pier.

Workers tie the rebar that will form the inside reinforcement for the east pier.

Some of the thousands of pounds of reinforcing bar that will go into the concrete parts of the bridge.

Some of the thousands of pounds of reinforcing bar that will go into the concrete parts of the bridge.

May 2016

Crews at work on the concrete for the west abutment of the Hwy 53 bridge.

Workers have been excavating rock and soil to lower the road bed to the appropriate grade.

Crews use equipment to drill into the rock at the top of the pit. Explosives will then be placed in the holes to blast away layers of rock for the bridge abutment.

In the foreground, the west pier of the bridge begins to take shape. In the background, work begins on the base of the east pier.

April 2016

Workers have been excavating rock and soil to lower the road bed to the appropriate grade.

Workers have been excavating rock and soil to lower the road bed to the appropriate grade.

Crews use equipment to drill into the rock at the top of the pit. Explosives will then be placed in the holes to blast away layers of rock for the bridge abutment.

Crews use equipment to drill into the rock at the top of the pit. Explosives will then be placed in the holes to blast away layers of rock for the bridge abutment.

Crews work on the pier base, or plinth. It will use about 150,000 pounds of steel and more than 650 cubic yards of concrete

Crews work on the pier base, or plinth. It will use about 150,000 pounds of steel and more than 650 cubic yards of concrete.

A view from the west showing where the bridge end will rest on the west side of Rouchleau Pit.

A view from the west showing where the bridge end will rest on the west side of Rouchleau Pit.

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, right, visited the project in early April. To his right are project director Pat Huston, District 1 engineer Duane Hill, MnDOT Commissioner Charlie Zelle and a Kiewit employee.

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, right, visited the project in early April. To his right are project director Pat Huston, District 1 engineer Duane Hill, MnDOT Commissioner Charlie Zelle and Jason Gagnon, a Kiewit employee.

March 2016

March 2016 file photo of the Highway 53 relocation.

This photo shows the first part of the underground footing for the bridge's west pier.

January 2016

January 2016 file photo of the Highway 53 relocation.
Click on photo for a larger view.
January 2016 file photo of the Highway 53 relocation.
Click on photo for a larger view.
January 2016 file photo of the Highway 53 relocation.
Click on photo for a larger view.
January 2016 file photo of the Highway 53 relocation.
Click on photo for a larger view.
January 2016 file photo of the Highway 53 relocation.
Click on photo for a larger view.
January 2016 file photo of the Highway 53 relocation.
Click on photo for a larger view.
January 2016 file photo of the Highway 53 relocation.
Click on photo for a larger view.
January 2016 file photo of the Highway 53 relocation.
Click on photo for a larger view.
January 2016 file photo of the Highway 53 relocation.
Click on photo for a larger view.
January 2016 file photo of the Highway 53 relocation.
Click on photo for a larger view.
January 2016 file photo of the Highway 53 relocation.
Click on photo for a larger view.
January 2016 file photo of the Highway 53 relocation.
Click on photo for a larger view.
January 2016 file photo of the Highway 53 relocation.
Click on photo for a larger view.

December 2015

Drilling holes in rock to prepare for a rock blast on the east side of the bridge.

Drilling holes in rock to prepare for a rock blast on the east side of the bridge.

Access (causeway) construction, which continues until mid- to late-January.

Access (causeway) construction, which continues until mid- to late-January.

Pile installation at pier 2, using a rotary drill. Approximately 18 steel pipe piles, each 30 inches around, will be drilled 175 feet into bedrock.

Pile installation at pier 2, using a rotary drill.

Pile installation at pier 2, using a rotary drill.

November 2015

West side of bridge area from the top of the pit on the east side

Hwy 53 R-Pit boat tour

June 2015

Rouchleau Pit boat tour

Hwy 53 R-Pit boat tour Hwy 53 R-Pit boat tour Hwy 53 R-Pit boat tour Hwy 53 R-Pit boat tour Hwy 53 R-Pit boat tour Hwy 53 R-Pit boat tour

November 2014

Hwy 53 panorama

June 2013

west side of the Rouchleau Pit.
Drilling continues on the west side of the Rouchleau Pit on a snowy January day.
Photo by Andy Johnson, Hwy 53 project manager.

Slideshow featuring historic photos of the Rouchleau Pit

Photos Courtesy of Iron Range Historical Society Gilbert MN.

2003 Rouchleau Pit

Arial photo of the Rouchleau Pit
Click on photo for a larger view.

Brief video of the Rouchleau Pit

This one-minute video was shot in the Rouchleau Pit in Virginia, Minnesota in August 2013. The Rouchleau Pit is the site of two of the five alternative routes considered for the re-routing of Hwy 53. The three-mile-long pit is filled with clear, cold water.

This video provides a glimpse of the pit and the drilling barge that has been taking core samples along the route of the E-1A alternative route.

The drilling rig is attached to a barge that is moved to the designated drilling locations. The drill operators work 24/7 and use small boats to transport themselves and supplies back-and-forth between shore and the barge.

Rouchleau Pit August 2013

Photo showing the barge and drill rig that is drilling samples in the Rouchleau Pit
This drill rig is boring samples in the Rouchleau Pit along the path of the proposed E-1A alternative. The rig drills core-samples (in the shape of a pop can) to check what type of rock/minerals are buried deep under the surface. Photo by Justin Capelle, MnDOT D1 summer intern.
Photo of the Mine in the Sky visitor center as it looks from water level.
Taken from a water level vantage point, the Mine in the Sky visitor center towers over the Rouchleau Pit. The water in the pit is hundreds-of-feet-deep in places. The E-1A alternative would pass through shallower areas. Photo by Justin Capelle, MnDOT D1 summer intern.

May 2012

Hwy 53 aerial photos

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