Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News Release

Aug. 18, 2017

Overnight I-35 detour planned Aug. 28 for bridge demolition south of Owatonna

OWATONNA, Minn. – Interstate 35 south of Owatonna will be detoured overnight Aug. 28 to allow construction crews to demolish the Steele County Road 31 bridge over I-35, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

The overnight detours of I-35 will be in place from 8 p.m. Aug. 28 to 8 a.m., Aug. 29.

Northbound I-35 traffic will be detoured off I-35 at Exit 26 at Ellendale to Highway 30 east to Steele County Road 45 north. Traffic will then exit west onto Highway 14 and reconnect with I-35 at Owatonna.

Southbound I-35 traffic will be detoured off I-35 at Exit 40B to Steele County Road 7 south to Steele County Road 30 south to Steele County Road 4 east through Hope to connect with I-35 south.

Motorists on Highway 14 who normally use County Road 45 on the south end of Owatonna will not be able to exit onto the county road until after 8 a.m., Aug. 29. The detour for those motorists is:

  • Eastbound Hwy 14 use Highway 218 exit and return to Hwy 14 west, exit at Austin Road
  • Westbound Hwy 14 motorists exit Hwy 14 at Austin Road.

Next week, Steele County Road 31 over Interstate 35 south of Owatonna will be closed as crews prepare to demolish the bridge.

The bridge over I-35 will be replaced. Equipment being hauled in a trailer struck and damaged the bridge in the spring and also damaged another I-35 bridge. The portion of the bridge over the southbound lanes will be demolished first. It will not affect I-35 traffic because it’s over a closed portion of I-35 near the I-35 and Highway 14 bridge replacements, which are occurring this year and in 2018.

Motorists seeking to cross the County Road 31 bridge may cross I-35 using Steele County Road 18 to the north or Steele County Road 4 to the south.

Meanwhile, 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 soon.

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: Hwy 14 west ramp to the I-35 south ramp to the Hwy 14 east ramp to connect with eastbound traffic. Traffic on Hwy 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” mndot.gov/zippermerge/.

Lunda Construction Company is the prime contractor.

Motorists interested in more information about the project, may visit the MnDOT project website at mndot.gov/d6/projects/steelecty-bridge/ 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 511mn.org.

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