Detours in Place as Work Begins on St. Paul High Bridge

September 06, 2017 06:43 AM

There's new traffic trouble for drivers in St. Paul. 

The Smith Avenue High Bridge over the Mississippi River closed Tuesday for repair work. Reconstruction of the bridge deck is part of a larger project on Smith Avenue and Dodd Road, also known as Highway 149.

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The Minnesota Department of Transportation says this project will extend the lifespan of the bridge and improve the road surface. There are two main detours around the closure, which can be found at the MnDOT project page.

High Bidge Inspection: Minnesota Structure Inventory Report

"We do understand it's going to be high impact and just something we have to go through," Project Communications Coordinator Kurt Bearinger said. "To the east we have to go over the Robert Street Bridge; that's going to be the main primary detour. Otherwise the alternative detour southbound is going to be on (Interstate) 35."

Nearby businesses like Johnson-Peterson Funeral Home are creating new maps with detour directions because of the closure. 

"We spent this morning working on maps to convey to families to put on our website," funeral home Director Ken Peterson said. "When people call for directions we need to have a whole new list of directions." 

The Smith High Bridge project is expected to be finished in December of 2018.

RELATED: St. Paul's High Bridge Renovations Expected to Last a Year, Open House Scheduled

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Joe Mazan

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