Highway 53 bridge opening delayed

The new Highway 53 bridge will connect communities of the eastern Mesabi Iron Range. (PHOTO: Bridge Daze)

Though Bridge Daze celebrating the new Highway 53 bridge between Virginia and Eveleth will go on this week, motorists won’t cross the new tallest bridge in Minnesota until mid-September.

On Tuesday, the Minnesota Department of Transportation announced that weather delayed their target opening date this week. Barring setbacks, officials hope to open the bridge to traffic by the middle of September.

From the MNDot press release:

“We’ve had significant rain in the region this summer,” said Pat Huston, MnDOT project director. “The wet conditions have slowed us down with some of the excavation, paving and other earth work.”

Huston added that this is a minor delay, and pointed out that the project is still ahead of schedule.

“When we started the project, we anticipated an October 2017 opening. The September opening still puts us more than a month ahead of schedule. In all of our projects, weather can be a significant factor.”

You can still vote on the potential new name of the bridge at the Bridge Daze website. The Iron Range Tourism contest pits five citizen-submitted names against each other in an online vote. The winner will be forwarded to local legislators who will propose the bill naming the bridge. What the legislature does from there is anyone’s guess.


  1. Matthew Steele says

    Minnesota Citizens for Roads, Asphalt, & Parking eagerly awaits the opening.

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