Posted at: 11/18/2013 5:34 PM
Updated at: 11/18/2013 10:39 PM
A two-mile stretch of southbound I-35 in Duluth is closing Monday night due to deteriorated pilings, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
The southbound lanes of the interstate will be closed from Lake Avenue to 21st Avenue West, or the "can of worms." Northbound lanes will remain open.
MnDOT had earlier announced plans for the southbound lanes to be closed between 26th Avenue East and Lake Avenue as well, but later dropped that portion of the closure. All southbound traffic will be required to exit at Lake Avenue.
A stretch of the interstate south of downtown is built on piers. MnDOT District 1 engineer Duane Hill said bridge inspectors identified deterioration in seven pilings that support one pier.
Hill said the pilings have not failed but need immediate repair. He said the closure was precautionary.
A MnDOT maintenance crew will begin the repair and a contractor will be hired to complete the work.
MnDOT said the closure is expected to last several days. A detour will take drivers on Lake Avenue, 3rd Street, Mesaba Avenue, and Michigan Street.