MNDOT Restricts Weight Load On Blatnik Bridge
Even as officials with the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation work towards an eventual replacement for the Blatnik Bridge, officials with both MNDOT and WISDOT have determined that overweight vehicles will be restricted from using the span. As of June 4, 2019, the maximum vehicle weight for Interstate 535 is 40 tons.
The joint-release from both agencies was careful to point out that the bridge span is still safe for travel. The reduction in weight limits was set by an independent consultant to assure that it will continue to be serviceable until it can be replaced. Both MNDOT and WISDOT are working on plans right now for a new bridge span to carry U.S. Highway 53 over the St. Louis River, with a 2028 target date.
Neither of the other two bridge spans which connect Duluth and Superior, Minnesota and Wisconsin across the St. Louis River currently carry as low of weight restrictions. The Bong Bridge is free of weight restrictions and the Oliver Bridge is currently set at 88 tons.