Wisconsin and Minnesota have agreed to ban overweight vehicles from driving on the Blatnik Bridge, which connects Duluth to Superior, to forestall damage until the span is replaced in a decade’s time.
According to a news release Tuesday, the Wisconsin and Minnesota Departments of Transportation have decided that vehicles weighing more than 40 tons should be prohibited from using the bridge, which conveys Interstate 535 between the two cities. The ban takes effect on Tuesday.
The agencies’ decision is based on a revised load-rating analysis that’s being completed by an independent consultant. A spokesperson for WisDOT did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
“The bridge is safe,” said Duane Hill, an MnDOT district engineer, in a statement. “We are taking this step to ensure the bridge remains serviceable until we can replace it.”
MnDOT added the bridge replacement this year to its 10-year construction plan and aims to have the bridge replaced as soon as 2028. Wisconsin and Minnesota would share the costs of the project, which could run to $460 million.