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Oliver Bridge daily road closures start Monday

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 / skuchera@duluthnews.com)

The Oliver Bridge will again close to daytime traffic between Minnesota and Wisconsin as Canadian National Railway continues work spiffing up the old span.

Starting Monday, the double-decker bridge connecting Minnesota Highway 39 and Wisconsin Highway 105 will close from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays until fall, with a few exceptions over holiday and event weekends.

CN, which owns the bridge and is contracting out work for the repairs, expects to finish the two-year strengthening work this year. A 47-foot-long span will be fully replaced on the east side of the bridge, and the steel cross ties and deck will be removed and replaced by a new solid timber deck for the rail portion of the bridge.

The road span, which sits below the rail bridge, will reopen at noon on several Fridays this summer: May 26 for Memorial Day traffic; June 16 for Grandma's Marathon; Sept. 1 for Labor Day; Sept. 15 for the NorthShore Inline Marathon; and Thursday, Aug. 10 for the Bayfront Blues Festival.

Further, the bridge will be open all day May 29, July 3 and 4, Aug. 11 and Sept. 4.

The bridge, built in 1910, carries about 20 trains a day nearly 2,000 feet across the St. Louis River. It also connects the Gary-New Duluth neighborhood with Oliver.

Work started last April on the bridge, with CN saying the renovation would be a "multimillion-dollar project."

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