Beginning Aug. 18, the Minnesota Department of Transportation will temporarily restrict the weight of loads that can access the Highway 36 Stillwater Lift Bridge following an inspection of the bridge that found corrosion.
State inspectors found components of the bridge had significant corrosion, which affects the bridge’s load-carrying capability. The change in the load rating will reduce the weight of trucks and other heavy loads that can cross the bridge until repairs can be made.
The temporary posting will reduce the legal load limit for a single truck, from 28 tons to 24 tons, and for semi-truck and tractor-trailer, from 40 tons to 28 tons.
“Although the bridge can safely handle day to day traffic, heavy loads will wear the bridge out more quickly,” said MnDOT state bridge engineer Nancy Daubenberger. “Restricting the loads before and during the repairs will help prevent damage to the bridge.”
Maintenance crews will begin work on the bridge this week, and repairs should take seven to 10 days. The bridge also is scheduled for a repair project in fall 2012.
Affected tractors are equipped with an automated Eaton UltraShift Plus or Eaton Advantage Transmission with right hand stalk shifter. In the affected trucks, the display on the instrument panel can indicate “N” when the shifter is set into “D” or “R,” causing the truck not to move.