28th St. bridge to close Monday in Austin
By Tim Ruzek
The Post-Bulletin, Austin MN
A northeast Austin bridge over Interstate 90 is expected to close Monday for about a month to allow construction workers to do maintenance work.
On and off ramps will remain accessible for I-90 traffic, but the entire 28th Street Northeast bridge will be closed, likely until Memorial Day weekend, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation office in Rochester.
Crews will install a new concrete bridge deck on 28th Street as well as repairing joints and railings during the projected five-week project, said Kristin Calliguri, a MnDOT spokeswoman.
Detour routes will be posted for 28th Street Northeast, which also is known as Mower County Road 46 north of I-90 and Mower County Road 58 south of it.
Austin Country Club, the Gerard Academy campus and numerous homes on the north side of I-90 near the bridge will be affected by the detours.
Eastbound I-90 traffic seeking to go north on 28th Street Northeast — including motorists going to the country club — will be detoured two miles further to Minnesota Highway 56, where they can exit and reenter the freeway to go west to 28th Street's north-side exit ramp, Calliguri said.
Westbound I-90 traffic looking to head south on 28th Street Northeast, Calliguri said, will have to go to the 21st Street Northeast/U.S. 218 South exit to turn east back to the south-side off ramp at the bridge.
MnDOT workers can't close only one lane at a time on the bridge, Calliguri said, because it would affect the new cement being poured and the bridge's structural soundness. That also would create more of a safety hazard through the construction zone as well as add more time and cost to the project.
The project, she said, is not part of the state's "Bridges of Mower County" work, which has been replacing several crossings on and over I-90 in Austin near Dobbins and Turtle creeks since last year.