Bemidji 15th Street bridge to reopen by Aug. 5
Eastern span to be replaced next summer
BEMIDJI, Minn. –The 15th Street bridge over Hwy 2 in Bemidji will reopen within the next two weeks, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
The bridge has been closed since July 13 when a vehicle with an over-height load hit the structure.
A MnDOT engineering evaluation shows four of the six bridge beams sustained damage and will eventually need to be replaced. The analysis of the beams indicates the bridge can safely support traffic on 15th Street if vehicles are routed along the north side of the bridge.
The bridge will reopen with weight restrictions after traffic control signs and traffic barriers are installed. The weight restrictions will not affect school bus traffic. Crews will also encase the damaged beams to ensure that no loose concrete falls onto Hwy 2 during the winter. That work is expected to be complete within the next two weeks.
Because of the severity of the damage, the eastern span of the bridge will be replaced next year.
“We considered replacing the damaged span this fall,” said Roger Hille, district bridge engineer, “but due to scheduling and material availability concerns, permanent repairs will be delayed until next summer.”
Beltrami County staff worked closely with MnDOT on the decision to reopen the bridge to traffic.
For statewide travel information, visit www.511mn.org, call 5-1-1 or log on to www.mndot.gov.