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MN Firm Gets $12.9M Blatnik Bridge Job

Friday, April 13, 2012

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Rainbow Inc., of Minneapolis, has been awarded a $12,945,017.80 contract to clean and recoat the Blatnik Bridge over Saint Louis Bay.

The company, a commercial and industrial painting contractor, was the lowest of five bidders for the project; the high bid was $27.4 million.

 Blatnik Bridge over Saint Louis Bay

 Creative Commons / Ryan Sinn (large) and Chris Light (inset)

The nearly $13 million project will involve cleaning and recoating the bridge, which connects Duluth, MN, and Superior, WI.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation awarded the contract and signed a separate agreement with LHB Inc., of Duluth, to perform coatings inspection and related project engineering services.

Scope of Work

The 7,975-foot-long tied-arch suspension span bridge connects Duluth, MN and Superior, WI. Known locally as the High Bridge, the structure rises nearly 120 feet above the water to accommodate the seaway shipping channel.

The project includes cleaning and recoating 539,890 square feet of structural steel surfaces on the John A. Blatnik Bridge, which carries Interstate 535 and U.S. Highway 53 over the bay, a tributary of Lake Superior. The steel will be abrasive blast-cleaned to SSPC-SP 10 (near white) and coated with an organic zinc-rich primer, an epoxy intermediate and a polyurethane finish.

The bridge was previously coated in the early 1990s, and the current coatings are not believed to contain lead. Still, appropriate containment and disposal will be required.

About the Bridge

The bridge was dedicated Dec. 2, 1961, but was renamed 10 years later for the congressman who helped facilitate the project.

In 1992 and 1993, the bridge was widened and the substructure strengthened to accommodate hard shoulders. In 2008, however, those earlier upgrades were found to have added weight beyond the load limit for gusset plates in eight different locations. The gusset plates were the component that failed in the 2007 collapse of the Interstate 35 Bridge in Minneapolis. The Blatnik Bridge was temporarily reduced to two lanes while the plates were strengthened.

Overweight vehicles have been restricted from using the Blatnik Bridge since early 2008, when inspections showed that corrosion and time were starting to affect the structure. Transportation officials say that the bridge is aging and that weight restrictions will help extend its lifetime.

Reported by Paint BidTracker, a construction reporting service devoted to identifying contracting opportunities for the coatings community. Visit us on Facebook!

   

Tagged categories: Bidding; Bridges; Construction; Contract awards; Industrial Contractors; Paint BidTracker; Painters

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