Blatnik Bridge returns to two-way service

Good news: The Superior-bound lanes on the Blatnik Bridge will reopen Friday, meaning intercity drivers can use the same bridge both coming and going for the first time since May.

The Interstate 535 bridge between Duluth and Superior is in the middle of a two-year rehabilitation project that began last spring and will resume next spring. The Duluth-bound lanes were closed in May and then reopened in August when the Superior-bound lanes closed.

The work — a slate of maintenance and strengthening projects that will extend the life of the bridge, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation — is expected to wrap up in October 2013.

There will still be some lane restrictions next week.

Superior-bound motorists will be restricted to a single lane from late-morning Monday until late-afternoon Wednesday while inspectors identify light fixture and conduit connection locations for the bridge’s new lighting system.