Highway 53 Relocation

VIRGINIA, Minn. – The first of 80 truckloads carrying steel for the Highway 53 bridge began arriving in Virginia this week.

On Tuesday, the first plate girder, weighing more than 200,000 pounds rolled onto the project site.

“The bridge will use more than 10 million pounds of steel,” said MnDOT project director Pat Huston. “It will be in the form of large girders and connecting material that we will use to build the spans across the pit.” He added that steel deliveries will continue into the middle of November. Installation of the girders could begin as early as 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. Backups before the work zone concern project officials, who urge motorists to use the zipper merge.

Work on the bridge over Rouchleau pit also continues. Crews are building the concrete forms for the east abutment. The west pier is is nearly completed, and the east pier should be finished by sometime next month.

Crews are also beginning to build falsework, a temporary support system that will be used as the steel girders are installed.

For more information on the project, visit the project website at 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.

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