The Blatnik Bridge is nearing the end of it's serviceable life span. The bridge was constructed in 1961, and now at 60 years old it is in need of being replaced. The Minnesota Department of Transportation has already held one virtual meeting to inform citizens about the process. They are set to hold another one tomorrow online and over the phone.

The public is urged to provide comments if they wish online that officials will try to address during the meeting. There are multiple ways to access the meeting such as online at the MnDot website. For those without internet access, they can call 1-855-282-6330. The meeting will take place January 12 at 6:30pm.

The bridge replacement schedule is as follows. From now until 2024 is the planning stage of preferred alternative selection and environmental design. Then from 2024-2026 there will be the preliminary design. The final design will be completed from 2026-2028 with construction following. The new bridge should be completed by 2031.

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According to MnDOT, 33,021 cars travel over the bridge each day. There is significant deterioration in truss elements that require safety inspections each year which cause lane closures. Already last year they closed the bridge to overweight loads about 40 tons because of bridge structure.

You can find more information on the entire project, purpose and need statement, and where you can submit comments or questions on the projects home page.

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