A sign of spring: MnDOT begins bridge inspection season in SE Minnesota

Published 4:52 pm Friday, March 31, 2023

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Motorists in southeast Minnesota should be alert for Minnesota Department of Transportation bridge inspection crews working on the roads beginning April 3 as they evaluate approximately 1,120 bridges during the season.

MnDOT bridge inspectors will evaluate approximately 410 structures for MnDOT and 640 bridges for cities and counties during this season. The inspections are routine to ensure safety and monitor the effects of traffic, weather, and other elements on the structure.

The first inspections are scheduled for the city of Rochester at four locations in the city on Monday.

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MnDOT uses a snooper truck for bridge inspections that have high vertical heights or span areas that make it difficult to inspect it underneath. A snooper 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 closures when bridges are scheduled for inspection.

Inspections with the snooper truck start the season and continue into May at 71 locations.

MnDOT will be inspecting Mississippi River bridges in June in Wabasha (Highway 60) and Winona (Highway 43) for its annual reviews of these bridges.

MnDOT 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 traffic and travel information in Minnesota, visit 511mn.org or get the free smartphone app at Google Play or the App Store.

To learn more about MnDOT construction projects and activities in southeastern Minnesota, go to MnDOT’s construction projects website, join its MnDOT SE Minnesota Facebook group or follow them on Twitter.