Brief evening I-35 traffic delays south of Owatonna for bridge beam setting April 23-24
OWATONNA, Minn. – Motorists on Interstate 35 south of Owatonna can expect brief traffic delays the evenings of April 23 and 24 as construction crews set bridge beams across I-35, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
Traffic on southbound I-35 will be stopped for 15-minute periods south of Highway 14 beginning at 8 p.m. on Monday, April 23. The Minnesota State Patrol will stop traffic north of the Steele County Road 18 bridge, while crews set the first beam. Once the beam is set and the equipment has cleared the road, the State Patrol will allow traffic to begin again until the next beam is ready to be set. There are four beams that will be set. The work is expected to be completed by 1 a.m., Tuesday.
Then on Tuesday, April 24, the same routine will be done for northbound traffic on I-35 south of the Steele County Road 18 bridge with the same time frame, beginning at 8 p.m. and finishing by 1 a.m., Wednesday.
Also on Monday, April 23, westbound Hwy 14 motorists east of I-35 will be moved into the eastbound Hwy 14 lanes, so two-way traffic will flow in the eastbound lanes. Because of this traffic change, westbound Hwy 14 motorists who want to travel north on I-35 will need to detour through the interchange loops at I-35 by taking the southbound I-35 ramp to the eastbound Hwy 14 ramp to the northbound I-35 ramp. The detour will remain in place until the two Hwy 14 bridges are reopened to traffic in the fall.
Traffic on I-35 is expected to change Friday, April 27. Two-way traffic will be established in the southbound lanes, so workers can replace the bridges in the northbound lanes. The northbound Straight River Rest Area will close when traffic is switched, but the southbound Straight River Rest Area will be open for southbound traffic.
Motorists who use Steele County Road 18 to cross I-35 are reminded that the road is closed at the bridge. It is one of the bridges being replaced. They may detour around the crossing by using Hwy 14.
This bridge replacement project is in its second of two years south of Owatonna. Twelve bridges are being replaced over two years on I-35 (eight bridges) and Hwy 14 (four bridges). Bridges on southbound I-35 and eastbound Hwy 14 were replaced last year. Two bridges on I-35 that were damaged by a vehicle crash last year are included in the project. One was replaced last fall and the second is under construction this year.
Lunda Construction Company is the prime contractor for the $29.6 million project.
Motorists interested in more information about the project, may visit the MnDOT project website at www.dot.state.mn.us/d6/projects/steelecty-bridge/index.html and sign up for email updates on the project.
Motorists should always be attentive, drive with caution, slow down in work zones and never enter a road blocked with barriers or cones. For real-time traffic information in Minnesota, call 511 or visit www.511mn.org.