Bridge construction to cause traffic stoppages

Published 10:00 pm Monday, June 19, 2017

Interstate 35 traffic will be stopped for 15-minute periods overnight Wednesday as crews place bridge beams south of Owatonna, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

The work is expected to begin at 10 p.m. Wednesday and be completed by 4 a.m. Thursday. During this time, five bridge beams will be placed. The stopped traffic is necessary for the beams to be transported to the site so that cranes can lift and lower the beams into place on the southbound bridge.

During the process, the Minnesota State Patrol will stop traffic to allow the equipment to get into place. Once the beam is moved, the equipment will clear the area and state troopers will lead traffic to resume normal traffic through the work zone. Each of the five beam placements is expected to take approximately 15 minutes.

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This is part of an overall project south of Owatonna where 10 bridges are being replaced over two years on I-35 and Minnesota State Highway 14.

Traffic on I-35 south of Owatonna continues to travel in single lanes in each direction in the northbound lanes. Southbound lanes are closed until mid-September.

The Straight River Rest Area for southbound traffic is closed during construction. The northbound rest area is under construction and will open later in this summer.

The northbound Interstate 35 off-ramp to Highway 14 east at Owatonna remains closed and detoured.

Motorists traveling northbound on I-35 to eastbound Hwy 14 are detoured. The detour route involves three traffic ramp loops: Highway 14 west ramp to the I-35 south ramp to the Highway 14 east ramp to connect with eastbound traffic. Traffic on Highway 14 travels in single lanes in each direction in the westbound lanes.

Traffic backups are likely on I-35, especially on weekends. Motorists can decrease traffic backup dangers and move more efficiently through a merge point by using both lanes of traffic while approaching the merge.

To learn more, to go MnDOT’s website on the zipper merge

Lunda Construction Co. is the prime contractor for the $29.6 million project.

Motorists interested in more information about the project, may visit the MnDOT project website at and sign up for email updates on the project.

Motorists should always be attentive, drive with caution, slow down in work zones and never enter a road blocked with barriers or cones. For real-time traffic information in Minnesota, call 511 or visit