International Bridge still on schedule to be replaced by 2018
By Ken Johnston
The clock keeps ticking on the future of the international bridge between Rainy River and Baudette.
In 2008 it was declared a deficient bridge by Minnesota’s Department of Transportation. At that time it was thought the structure should be replaced in or about 2018. That schedule appears to be still holding true.
In 2011 a presentation was made to the Canada-US Transportation Border Working Group. MN DoT officials reported the bridge has only a 48.8 out 100 sufficiency rating.
It has had problems with oversized loads impacting the super-structure and is also under attack by a water-borne bacteria which is causing microbial induced corrosion.
The Record was made aware of a rumour that officials were getting ready to let tenders for construction in the near future and proceeded to confirm that information.
However, T.J. Melcher, Public Affairs Coordinator for MN DoT out of Bemidji, MN said, “No that is not really the case. We are a long ways from that. We are close to advertising for a contract to perform the environmental documentation and determine the structure type, but that is all at this point. Design and construction won’t take place until 2016 to 2017.”
As they move forward with the process there will be a series of public meetings on the project.