Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

I-535 Blatnik Bridge

Duluth, Minn. and Superior, Wis.

History

Blatnik Bridge

1958: The High Bridge (later the Blatnik Bridge) under construction, with the interstate bridge underneath.

Blatnik Bridge maintenance history

  • 1958-1961: The High Bridge (later known as the Blatnik Bridge) is constructed
  • 1961: Blatnik Bridge opens to traffic
  • o Designed for a max vehicle weight of 154,000 pounds
  • 1973: Median change from curb to median barrier
  • 1994: Widening project
  • 1995: Painting and repair project
  • 2008: Emergency gusset repair and spot
  • o First load restriction to 80,000 pounds
  • 2010: Suspender rope placement project
  • 2012-2013: Repaint truss in splash zone, perform truss strengthening and install new lighting system
  • o Changed max vehicle weight back to 154,000 pounds
  • 2016: Repair project (emergency gussets and cable)
  • o Load rating reduced again to 104,000 pounds
  • 2019: Inspection
  • o Load rating further reduced to 80,000 pounds (legal loads only)
  • 2021/2022: Planned maintenance work
Blatnik Bridge

1959: Looking from Duluth from atop the High Bridge while it was under construction. The St. Louis Bay Bridge is at the upper left.

Blatnik Bridge

1960: An aerial view of the High Bridge, looking from Superior toward Duluth.

Blatnik Bridge

1960: Looking towards Superior during construction with the Interstate Bridge on the left.

Blatnik Bridge

1960: The steel framework of the High Bridge rises above the St. Louis Bay.

Blatnik Bridge

1961: Workers pour concrete on the High Bridge with St. Louis Bay in the background.

Blatnik Bridge

1961: Crowds gather on the High Bridge on grand opening day, December 2, 1961. Minnesota Governor Elmer Anderson speaks at the local grand opening.

Blatnik Bridge

1961: Crowds gather on the High Bridge on grand opening day, December 2, 1961.

Blatnik Bridge

1994: View from the top of the Blatnik Bridge looking toward Duluth, as the bridge undergoes reconstruction in 1994. Port Terminal is to the right.