Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News Release

Aug. 26, 2016

Orange barrels on a highway

Construction continues on Hwy 53 relocation roadway, bridges

Super crane arrives, bridge girders to be installed soon

The Hwy 53 relocation project has received a larger, heavy-lift crawler crane, the Terex CC 6800. It will be used to lift the steel bridge girders in place for the bridge that crosses the Rouchleau Pit. A similar crane was used to help construct the new U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

DULUTH, Minn. — Work continues to progress on the Highway 53 relocation project. Roadway crews have been excavating the roadway’s new alignment and installing water, storm sewer and sanitary sewer systems.

Bridge workers have nearly completed Pier 2 and continue to work on the west abutment. The project has also received 16 of the 80 steel bridge girders necessary for the bridge, and crews are now assembling them prior to installation. The rest of the girders will be delivered and assembled during the next few months.

Crews also have begun foundation preparation for the Highway 135 bridge on the east side of the project.

A large crane, capable of lifting the project’s heaviest pairs of steel girders weighing 750,000 pounds, also began arriving in pieces in the past several weeks. Crane crews are assembling the machine on the causeway across Rouchleau Pit. The crane will begin to install the bridge girders beginning in mid-September.

Crews continue the reconstruction of southbound Highway 53 from Vermillion Drive to the eastbound ramp to Highway 135. There is one lane of traffic in each direction while crews rebuild the southbound roadway. The work will take about two months. Next year, crews will rebuild the northbound side of Highway 53 in that area. Project officials urge motorists to use the zipper merge to minimize backups near the work zone.

On Sept. 1, MnDOT will conduct its monthly Coffee and Conversation to provide updates on the project to the public. It will take place at 10 a.m. at the MnDOT headquarters in Virginia at 101 N. Hoover Road.

For more information on the project, visit the project website at www.mndot.gov/hwy53relocation. Viewers will also find access to the project’s web cam, as well as new photos of the project on that website.

For questions or concerns about the project, call the project hotline at 218-820-8532.