Burnsville 35W ramp reopens, but lane on bridge still closed

  • Article by: Anthony Lonetree
  • Star Tribune
  • August 19, 2013 - 9:47 AM

Transportation officials have reopened the ramp from eastbound Hwy. 13 to northbound Interstate 35W in Burnsville as they continue to assess damage to the Hwy. 13 bridge spanning the interstate.

The right eastbound lane across the bridge remains closed.

On Sunday night, the ramp from southbound I-35W to eastbound Hwy. 13 was closed to allow for the bridge to be repaired.

Work crews discovered the damage while painting the bridge Saturday, said Kevin Walker, a spokesman for the state Department of Transportation.

Also closed is a lane of traffic on the bridge itself, presenting potential difficulties to motorists who use the heavily traveled junction. But after the collapse of the I-35W bridge, Walker said, officials err on the side of safety, and that is a “good thing.”

“Obviously, if it’s closed, it’s for a reason,” Walker said.

Motorists often use the ramp from southbound I-35W to eastbound Hwy. 13 to make their way toward St. Paul.

The Hwy. 13/I-35W area has seen its share of disruptions of late. On Saturday afternoon, MnDOT closed the ramp from eastbound Hwy. 13 to northbound I-35W and set up a detour that directed motorists east on Hwy. 13 to Cliff Road and then back to I-35W.

A week ago, MnDOT also closed the eastbound Hwy. 13 ramp from southbound I-35W, again because workers doing routine maintenance on the bridge had noticed damage. Repairs were made and traffic restored by Friday, MnDOT communications director Kevin Gutknecht said Sunday night.

On Sunday night, answers to technical questions, such as potential causes of damage to the structure, were difficult to come by.

“We can find that answer out [Monday],” Walker said.

Anthony Lonetree • 651-925-5036

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