Please slow down and use caution in the work zone.
Southbound lanes of Hwy 53 closed between Vermillion Drive and the eastbound ramp to Hwy 135. Single lane traffic in each direction as crews rebuild the southbound road. Use the Zipper Merge if you encounter heavy traffic at the lane closures.
Ramp from Hwy 135 to southbound Hwy 53 closed.
Bridge workers have nearly completed Pier 2 and continue to work on the west abutment. The project has also received 16 of the 80 steel bridge girders necessary for the bridge, and crews are now assembling them prior to installation. The rest of the girders will be delivered and assembled during the next few months. Crews also have begun foundation preparation for the Hwy 135 bridge on the east side of the project.
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.
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
Kiewit Infrastructure Company, an international construction, mining and engineering company, is the general contractor for the project.