New weight restrictions on two Minn. bridges

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Click through the image to access a full detour map around newly restricted bridges in Champlin, Minn.Click through the image to access a full detour map around newly restricted bridges in Champlin, Minn.

April 16, officials from the Minnesota Department of Transportation put in place weight restrictions on two Highway 169 bridges over Elm Creek just north of Hayden Lake Road in Champlin, Minn.

The restrictions are in place “to minimize deterioration from heavy loads and to keep the bridges functioning effectively and safely until they can be repaired or replaced,” officials said. Detours are in place for noncombination trucks weighing more than 16 tons as well as combination truck-trailers upward of 26 tons.

Northbound Highway 169 trucks will use EB Highway 610, NB Highway 47 and WB Highway 10. Southbound trucks will take those routes in reverse.

The U.S. DOT’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics recently released its five-year look at the transportation system, cataloging among other things the extent to which bridges around the nation are structurally deficient in some way. The BTS defines structural deficiency as a bridge with “reduced load bearing capacity due to the deterioration of one or more bridge elements.

“Such bridges are not necessarily unsafe,” BTS says, “but they do require maintenance and repair to remain in service and will eventually require rehabilitation or replacement.”

The percentage of such bridges nationwide has been falling slightly since 2002, though still stands at 11 percent overall: 7.5 percent of urban bridges and 12.3 percent of rural bridges the BTS notes as structurally deficient in calendar year 2012.

Access the full BTS report via this link.

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