Construction of the new Lafayette Bridge in St. Paul has reached the half way point and the first new span will open to motorists on Monday.
In preparation, MnDOT will shut down both directions of Hwy. 52 from Interstate 94 and Concord Street to switch traffic to the new northbound bridge.
The closure will go into effect at 9 a.m. Saturday and is scheduled to be in place until 5 a.m. Monday, weather permitting. During the closure, motorists should follow the detour by using I-94 to Hwy. 61 to I-494.
Once traffic is switched over, both northbound and southbound traffic will use the new northbound span, which will have two lanes in each direction.
With its opening, vehicles such as buses and trucks with a length of 35 feet or longer will be able to use Hwy. 52. They have been prohibited from doing so since traffic was rerouted to the southbound bridge via a crossover that featured a tight turning radius near the north end of the northbound bridge. That made it too difficult for large vehicles to maneuver the crossover safely.
Starting Monday, the follow ramps will be closed:
- Southbound Hwy. 52 to Plato Blvd.
- Plato Blvd. to northbound Hwy. 52
- Eastbound 94 to southbound Hwy. 52.
Motorists will be able to exit at Eaton Street to access businesses along Plato Blvd. and Eaton Street. East 7th Street to southbound Hwy 52 traffic should detour east on I-94 and south on Mounds Boulevard
The southbound portion of the Lafayette Bridge is expected to be complete in September 2015., The affected ramps will reopen at that time, MnDOT said.