Motorists in Southeast Minnesota should be alert for lane restrictions beginning on Monday, April 2, as the Minnesota Department of Transportation begins bridge inspections to assist local governments.
Mn/DOT will be inspecting four Olmsted County bridges beginning on Monday and three Fillmore County bridges on Tuesday as the inspection season begins. By the end of the season in the fall, Mn/DOT’s Southeast Minnesota inspectors will have evaluated nearly 350 bridges for cities and counties and nearly 500 Mn/DOT bridges in its annual effort in Southeast Minnesota.
A snooper truck is used during Mn/DOT 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 when bridges are scheduled for inspection. Olmsted County bridges include: the Oronoco bridge on County Road 18 over the Middle Fork Zumbro River; County Road 14 over the South Branch Middle Fork Zumbro River, one mile east of County Road 105 east of Genoa; County Road 5 over the South Branch Middle Fork Zumbro River near County Road 4 north of Byron; and County Road 3 over the South Branch Zumbro River near County Road 126 southeast of Byron.
Fillmore County bridges include: County Road 8 over the Root River near Highway 250 in Lanesboro, County Road 36 over the Root River near Highway 16 in Whalan, and County Road 25 over the Root River near Highway 16 in Peterson.
Bridge inspections are scheduled this season by Mn/DOT for select structures maintained by Goodhue, Dodge, Wabasha, Mower, and Winona counties, as well as bridges in the cities of Rochester, Red Wing and Winona.
Motorists will encounter Mn/DOT bridge inspectors on roads and highways in Southeast Minnesota in the snooper at least through June for bridges that require the specialized equipment.
Mn/DOT urges motorists to 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 and travel information in Minnesota, visit www.511mn.org or get the free smartphone app at Google Play or the App Store.