ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota Department of Transportation crews
conducted further examination of the Highway 23 bridge in St. Cloud
today and will continue to do so this week as part of the analysis to
determine if repairs can be made.
Mn/DOT ordered the closure of the bridge over the Mississippi River last
week due to distortions found in gusset plates at four locations of the
bridge. Crews are now examining the rest of the bridge's gusset plate
locations and will take measurements to see if there is any additional
bowing or misalignment.
In addition, the National Transportation Safety Board has contacted
Mn/DOT and asked to review the Highway 23 bridge. Since the St. Cloud
bridge is similar in design to the Interstate 35W bridge, the NTSB hopes
to add to its body of knowledge regarding these types of bridges. The
NTSB plans to conduct its review on Wednesday, March 26.
Mn/DOT is also moving forward to contract with Wiss, Janney, Elstner and
Associates, Inc. to assist in determining the feasibility of repairing
the Highway 23 bridge's gusset plates and the engineering effectiveness
of such repairs. Mn/DOT asked the engineering firm due to their
knowledge of these types of joints on similar bridge designs. Mn/DOT
hopes to have them working on the project as early as tomorrow, March
The westbound Highway 23 detour has been modified to provide more balanced traffic
flows through signalized intersections. Mn/DOT thanks motorists for
their continued patience and cooperation. For more information, visit
the agency's Web site at www.mndot.gov.