The work done on I-41/ US45 between Watertown Plank Road and Burleigh Street Saturday night has moved faster than previously expected. Instead of opening at 5am Monday morning, DOT officials will the Northbound lanes are open, with the southbound lanes reopening late Saturday or early Sunday morning.
Even with chilly conditions, crews were able to complete the required work sooner than anticipated due to coordination with the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) and the Zoo IC project team.
Concrete work on the southbound lanes to is expected to be completed later Saturday evening, allow for the reopening of the lanes south from Burleigh Street after that.
Regional Communications Manager for the DOT, Mike Pyritz says, “The reason we’re doing this is the Union Pacific Railroad bridge that goes over I-41 needs to be removed. And in order for that to be done safely, we need(ed) to make sure that the freeway underneath is clear of traffic.”
The railroad bridge was originally built in 1953 for the Chicago and Northwestern railroad, now part of the Union Pacific, and since then, not much has been done to it. Which is why the DOT built a temporary bridge called a Shoe-Fly, which will get replaced once the north leg project is complete.