Motorists in southeast Minnesota should be alert for lane closures beginning April 4 as the Minnesota Department of Transportation starts its routine inspections of 836 state, city, and county bridges in the region.
MnDOT bridge inspectors will evaluate approximately 489 structures for MnDOT and 347 bridges for cities and counties in southeast Minnesota this season. The inspections are routine to ensure safety and monitor the effects of traffic, weather, and other elements on the structure.
Snooper truck inspections will begin April 4 with MnDOT crews evaluating bridges in Fillmore County. Additional snooper inspections will take place in April on bridges in Mower, Olmsted, Wabasha, and Goodhue counties and in the city of Red Wing. Inspections of two bridges in Northfield and one in Rochester will be scheduled.
Inspections using the snooper trucks are planned on state highways beginning in May with several additional inspections planned in August for two bridges on Hwy 61 in Goodhue County and two bridges on Hwy 76 in Houston County.
MnDOT will be inspecting Mississippi River bridges in June in Wabasha (Hwy 60) and Winona (Hwy 43).
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.
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.