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Daytime closures allow Oliver bridge project to proceed

The Oliver Bridge over the St. Louis River in August. The double-deck bridge, which will close to highway traffic from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays starting Monday, carries railroad traffic on its top deck and cars and trucks on its lower. (Steve Kuchera /

Canadian National begins the second and final year of a major maintenance and strengthening project on the Oliver railroad bridge over the St. Louis River between Duluth and Oliver on Monday.

The bridge strengthening project, part of CN's 2017 capital program, is a major investment in the continuing safety and efficiency of CN's Wisconsin and Minnesota railroad network.

The bridgework included in 2017 includes:

Full replacement of the 47-foot-long Span 1 on the east end of the bridge.

Removal of the steel cross ties and steel deck, which carries the rail.

Installation of new solid timber deck to carry the rail

The bridgework will prompt daytime closures of the roadway beneath the rail bridge connecting Wisconsin Highway 105 to Minnesota Highway 39. The highway portion of the bridge is closed to traffic between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. The daily closures are expected to begin Monday and continue into the fall. CN has worked with the Minnesota and Wisconsin departments of transportation on the closure signage.

The road will remain open to accommodate holiday and event travel for Memorial Day, Grandma's marathon, July 4, Blues Fest, Labor Day and the Inline Marathon.

More information is available at or

The Oliver Bridge, built in 1910, is a 1,935-foot long, steel double deck bridge that carries about 20 trains a day and offers a two-lane highway on the lower deck.