Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News Release

Sept. 18, 2017

Nighttime northbound I-35 traffic stoppages planned Sept. 21 for bridge beam placement

Southbound traffic will return to southbound lanes Sept. 20 near Owatonna, rest areas are open

OWATONNA, Minn. – Northbound Interstate 35 motorists approaching Owatonna will be stopped for 15-minute intervals Thursday night, Sept. 21, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

The work is expected to begin at 8 p.m., Sept. 21 and be completed by midnight. During this time, bridge beams will be placed. The stopped traffic is necessary for the beams to be transported to the site so that cranes can lift and lower the beams into place on the bridge over the northbound I-35 traffic lanes. Four beams will be placed.

During the process, the Minnesota State Patrol will stop traffic to allow the equipment to get into place. Once the beam is moved, the equipment will clear the area and state troopers will lead traffic to resume normal traffic through the work zone. Each of the beam placements is expected to take approximately 15 minutes.

This is part of an overall project south of Owatonna where 10 bridges are being replaced over two years on I-35 (six bridges) and Hwy 14 (four bridges).

On Sept. 20, traffic will change through the I-35 work zone. Southbound traffic will return to the southbound lanes in a single lane. Northbound will remain single lane in northbound lanes. Traffic in both directions has been using the northbound lanes during the bridge replacements on the southbound lanes, which have been closed to traffic.

Motorists are reminded that Steele County Road 31 over Interstate 35 south of Owatonna is closed as crews work on replacement of the bridge. The bridge over I-35 will be replaced. Equipment being hauled in a trailer struck and damaged the bridge in the spring and also damaged another I-35 bridge. The portion of the bridge over the southbound lanes will be demolished first. It will not affect I-35 traffic because it’s over a closed portion of I-35 near the I-35 and Highway 14 bridge replacements, which are occurring this year and in 2018.
Motorists seeking to cross the County Road 31 bridge may cross I-35 using Steele County Road 18 to the north or Steele County Road 4 to the south.

The Straight River Rest Area for southbound traffic is open for traffic. The northbound rest area, which was reconstructed, opened in August.

The northbound Interstate 35 off-ramp to Highway 14 east at Owatonna remains closed and detoured. Motorists traveling northbound on I-35 to eastbound Hwy 14 are detoured. The detour route involves three traffic ramp loops: Hwy 14 west ramp to the I-35 south ramp to the Hwy 14 east ramp to connect with eastbound traffic. Traffic on Hwy 14 travels in single lanes in each direction in the westbound lanes.

Traffic backups are likely on I-35, especially on weekends. Motorists can decrease traffic backup dangers and move more efficiently through a merge point by using both lanes of traffic while approaching the merge. To learn more, to go MnDOT’s website on the “zipper merge” www.dot.state.mn.us/zippermerge/.

Lunda Construction Company is the prime contractor.

Motorists interested in more information about the project, may visit the MnDOT project website at www.mndot.gov/d6/projects/steelecty-bridge/ 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.