35W lanes near Hwy. 62 closed after bend in bridge beam found

  • Updated: October 29, 2007 - 11:25 PM

Interstate 35W lanes near Hwy. 62 closed for more than two hours as precautionary measure.

The northbound lanes on Interstate 35W near Hwy. 62 were closed for more than two hours during Monday afternoon's rush hour after a slight bend in a bridge beam was detected and checked out.

State transportation crews were evaluating a temporary bridge being built as part of the Crosstown reconstruction project and noticed a beam was deflecting slightly downward.

A project supervisor decided to close down the northbound lanes as crews then removed large parts of the asphalt from the temporary bridge, said Kent Barnard, a spokesman for the state Department of Transportation.

The temporary bridge is supposed to carry westbound traffic on Hwy. 62 over 35W while crews remove and replace the old bridge. The highway reopened to traffic at 5:24 p.m. after the situation was deemed safe, Barnard said.

"At no time at all was anybody in any danger, we were not fearing that there would be a bridge collapse," Barnard said. "The better part of valor is to use a little discretion."

MnDOT inspectors and engineers will be back out today to determine what the next steps might be, Barnard said.

There were plans to shift traffic onto that temporary bridge by this weekend but that will be delayed, he added.

TERRY COLLINS

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