Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News Release

Nov. 16, 2016

Orange barrels on a highway

Girders now span entire Rouchleau Pit on Hwy 53 relocation project

VIRGINIA, Minn. – Crews installed the first set of girders Nov. 11 to connect the new Highway 53 bridge from east to west across the Rouchleau Pit.

Work will continue through December to place the remaining girders before construction of the bridge deck begins next spring.

Crews are preparing for a winter shutdown of roadwork, which includes stabilizing areas of open earth to control sediment. Utility on a sanitary sewer lift station near Highway 135 is almost complete. Roadwork will be finished for the season by Nov. 23.

In the past several weeks, crews continued to build the base and embankments for much of the new Highway 53 alignment. Landfill Road traffic has been shifted to the new northbound Highway 53 paved surface.

Crews have finished installing water main, storm sewer, and sanitary sewer between Second Avenue and the Rouchleau Pit Bridge, and from the other side of the Rouchleau Pit Bridge to Highway 135.  

Crews have opened the existing southbound Highway 53. There will be four lanes roadway throughout the winter. Next year, crews will rebuild the northbound side of Highway 53 in the Midway area.

The project website has photos showing the installation of the girders that complete the east to west crossing. There is also a fly-through animated visualization on that page. Visit the project website at www.mndot.gov/hwy53relocation to see this new material. Viewers will also find access to the project’s web cam, as well as other information regarding the project.

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