Nearly 1,000 southeast Minnesota bridges scheduled for scrutiny as MnDOT begins inspection season
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Motorists in Olmsted County should be alert for lane restrictions beginning Monday as the Minnesota Department of Transportation begins bridge inspections to assist local governments.
MnDOT will be inspecting five Olmsted County bridges on Monday and five Rochester bridges on Tuesday as the inspection season begins. By the end of the season in the fall, MnDOT’s southeast Minnesota inspectors will have evaluated nearly 600 bridges for cities and counties and nearly 400 MnDOT bridges in its annual effort in southeast Minnesota.
Bridge inspections are scheduled this season by MnDOT for select structures maintained by Goodhue, Dodge, Wabasha, Mower, and Winona counties, as well as bridges in the cities of Rochester, Faribault and Owatonna.
A snooper truck is used during MnDOT inspections. The truck is a specialty vehicle that has a multi-jointed arm with a basket attached at the end to hold the bridge inspectors. The equipment allows the inspection team to maneuver under the bridge, while the truck is parked on the bridge deck.
Motorists should watch for lane restrictions on Monday when bridges on Olmsted County roads are scheduled for inspection. Bridges include: County Road 139 over Partridge Creek near County Road 19; County Road 7 over a stream, two miles north of Highway 52; County Road 22 over the railroad tracks near Highway 14 west; County Road 3 over the South Branch of the Middle Fork Zumbro River near County Road 12; and County Road 12 over the Zumbro River west of Highway 63.
Bridges in Rochester scheduled for inspection on Tuesday include: South Broadway bridge; Fourth Street Southeast bridge; Seventh Street Northeast bridge, North Broadway bridge and Elton Hills Drive Northwest bridge. Lane closures will be used to allow inspectors to work from the bridge.
Motorists will encounter MnDOT bridge inspectors on roads and highways in southeast Minnesota in the snooper at least through June for bridges that require the specialized equipment.
MnDOT urges motorists to always be attentive, drive with caution, slow down in work zones and never enter a road blocked with barriers or cones.