Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Hwy 53 Relocation

between Eveleth and Virginia

Hwy 53 Southeast of Virginia, MN
Highway 135 detour, southeast of Virginia, MN.

Dedication delayed to mid-Sept.

The dedication for the Highway 53 relocation project, which was scheduled for Aug. 18, has been postponed to mid-September. The project has received above average rainfall, which has slowed work somewhat. See the release.

Traffic impacts

Road closures

Hwy 135 detour, southeast of Virginia, MN.

  • The Hwy 135 detour route is in effect. It travels along Hwy 53 south to Hwy 37, and then east to Gilbert. Hwy 135 will be open between Gilbert and Landfill Road, but there will be no direct access to Hwy 53. See map above.
  • The ramp from Second Avenue in Virginia to southbound Hwy 53 is closed. There is a signed detour from Second Avenue to Hwy 53. See map.

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 Hwy 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.